Watch Dogs runs in 900p on PlayStation 4 and 792p on Xbox One, developer Ubisoft confirmed today after rumors of the game's resolution began to escalate earlier this week. Both versions of the game run at 30fps.
Some Xbox One/PS4 games run in 1080p, but Watch Dogs creative director Jonathan Morin told the Ubisoft Blog that he's more concerned with the overall experience rather than the technical minutiae. Plus, Morin said people tend to forget that achieving higher fidelity visuals is easier for corridor shooters than it is for open-world games like Watch Dogs.
"Resolution is a number, just like framerate is a number" -- Watch Dogs creative director Jonathan Morin
"Resolution is a number, just like framerate is a number. All those numbers are valid aspects of making games," Morin said. "But you make choices about the experience you want to deliver. In our case, dynamism is everything. Exploration and expression are everything. You want to have a steady framerate, but you want to have dynamism at the core of the experience. The same goes with resolution."
"People tend to look at corridor shooters, for example, where there's a corridor and all the effects are on and it's unbelievable, and they forget that if you apply those same global effects to an open city with people around and potential car crashes and guys in multiplayer showing up without warning, the same effect is applied to a lot of dynamic elements that are happening in every frame," he added. "So it becomes magnified in cost."
Watch Dogs was originally scheduled to launch back in November 2013, so couldn't Ubisoft have spent the extra six months optimizing the game's resolution? It's possible, but Morin said he was more interested in using that time to polish the game and tune it to a level he hopes fans will enjoy.
"The effort was split on continuing dynamism and making sure players can express themselves through hacking without ever being disappointed in how the game responds to them, whether it's visually or through gameplay," Morin said. "That's important. Resolution has nothing to do with that. That's why stuff like resolution can scale a bit down so that we never compromise the soul of Watch Dogs."
Also in the blog post, Ubisoft explained the specific differences between the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 and Xbox One/PS4 versions of Watch Dogs. On the single-player side, Xbox 360/PS3 players can expect fewer NPCs in some areas, but Morin says this will not affect the core gameplay. For multiplayer, Morin said Xbox 360 and PS3 owners will miss out on the Decryption competitive multiplayer mode and the ability to free roam with multiple players.
Watch Dogs is a massive effort from Ubisoft, having been in development for over six years. It launches May 27 for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, and PC. The Wii U version is coming sometime later. Lastly, Ubisoft released a lengthy new trailer for Watch Dogs today that sets up almost everything you could want to know about the game. You can watch it above.
|Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch|
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