Watch Dogs visuals have not been downgraded, Ubisoft says

Responding to claims that visuals have been scaled back since initial unveiling in 2012, Ubisoft PR rep says, "Believe me the game is not downgraded."

by

Ubisoft has responded to claims that the visual performance of upcoming open-world action game Watch Dogs has been scaled back since its initial unveiling at E3 2012. That's just not true, Ubisoft Benelux PR and events manager Tessa Vilyn said today across a series of tweets.

"It is impossible," Vilyn said (via Videogamer). "Of course it is not downgraded at all. It's a true next-gen game for sure...for sure.."

The Watch Dogs visual downgrade claims came to light this week from a GIF found on NeoGAF. Compiled using video footage from the game released this week, it suggested the game's graphical fidelity had been scaled back since last we saw it.

"Believe me the game is not downgraded," Vilyn said. "That would just be a bit ridiculous. I saw the game it looks incredible. It looks what a next gen should look like."

Watch Dogs launches May 27 for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PC. The Wii U version is definitely not canceled, but does not have a release date yet.

Looking for more Watch Dogs content? Be sure to check out GameSpot editor Shaun McInnis' recent extensive hands-on preview of the game from his recent trip to Ubisoft Montreal.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Discussion

1038 comments
atopp399
atopp399

Ubisoft is like a 13 year old with a chronic lying problem. 

se007
se007

People are so stupid! I get it when some lame schoolboys are making comparisons like that, but not a supposedly professional gaming portal. How can you actually compare footage in those vastly different conditions? Sunny clear day vs rainy evening. At least compare similar footage and then cry about difference, otherwise it's just a big steaming pile of BS!

kalipekona
kalipekona

There is no downgrade, only time of day and weather differences.

Ark1of712
Ark1of712

Is it just me, or did I just read that article and not feel reassured in the slightest?

reesebey
reesebey

Thanks Gamespot for saving me 60 dollars

Darth_Ultima
Darth_Ultima

I was never really excited about this game but if it is cool when it comes out I will get it.  Seems like people are just badmouthing it for the sake of badmouthing something.

gf61
gf61

After a generous deposit, now it runs the same resolution on both consoles!

downloadthefile
downloadthefile

I'm rather underwhelmed by this game as of late.  Hopefully it turns out to be good and I'm proven wrong.

GIF
GIF

A great reason why I am skipping consoles. I am done with them as I do not play enough games and I have 12 unopened games on the last gen consoles still. Why buy new ones? I am sticking to getting a new PC

Resmanthes
Resmanthes

I haven't noticed any difference watching this. I guess people are just feeling picky about their expectations.

RussellMartin
RussellMartin

Um, you could wait until the game is released and played on your system at home before voicing your opinion on graphics. The site you are viewing the images on could have an effect on the quality, what about your internet connection... Or whatever else... At home on your consol, then let's talk.

limbo12
limbo12

"Watch Dogs visuals have not been downgraded, Ubisoft says"


That's strange. I could have sworn this was going to be released on X1 as well.

mrretrogaming
mrretrogaming

Honestly saying,the new graphics look a lot like the graphics of Need For Speed Underground 2.If it wasn't for other next-gen games I have been playing,I wouldn't know what is real next-gen by just looking at the downgraded Watch Dogs.

Forcecaster
Forcecaster

The new comparision video tells a lot:

There is no physics simulation in the console version: look at the explosion, in the 2012 version there are a lot of debris, while in the assumed PS4 version there is nothing. The same goes for the coat, look at the end of the video. In the 2012 version it is much more dynamic, fluid, realistic.


The graphics aren't that much different considering the fact, that the 2012 version is the PC version, while the others are from the consoles. What does this mean? The console version is different from the original PC version. This is no surprise. But now we have to see the footages from the current PC version to know if the game was really downgraded.


Let me refresh everyones memory about the fact, that there was an agreement between NVIDIA and Ubisoft concerning the upcoming PC releases: Watch Dogs and Assassins Creed Black Flag. Black Flag came with TXAA support, so most likely Watch Dogs will have that too. BUT! What if the aforementioned physics differences comes from NVIDIA PhysX? The consoles cannot provide that with AMD graphics. This should be an answer for the most different aspect between the original and the current version.


According to some "old" articles Watch Dogs will be prettier on NVIDIA configurations and it will have NVIDIA treats. From one of the artcles: "There's no word yet on whether Aiden's jacket will be imbued with the magical properties of PhysX support." But now it clearly shows the jacket HAS PhysX support.


So there you go. To know how much prettier the game will run on GeForce cards we have to wait until someone reviews the final game on RadeOn cards. If the greens will have the original quality and the reds will have "downgraded" quality it will solve the mistery of the "looks to be lower quality" console versions.

00J
00J

they looked downgraded in the trailer i saw... 

Nevernudeftw
Nevernudeftw

They haven't been "downgraded" at all! They have been "optimized" so the consoles can actually run the game.


There is your optimization console kids!

bbq_R0ADK1LL
bbq_R0ADK1LL

Then why does the new trailer look so bad? It's like they've been doing nothing but optimisation for the last 6 months since the game was delayed.

There are definitely two different graphical fidelities in the new trailer.First it looks like there's some pre-rendered stuff that looks alright. Second there's the gameplay footage that looks like character models, lighting & particle effects have been seriously downgraded from the gameplay footage we were shown several months back.


To get the feel of a real city, you need particles. There should be dust, rubbish & leaves swirling in the breeze. Light shouldn't hit every surface like it's a flat plane. Textures shouldn't just be 2D when you look closer. Clothes should move of their own accord (like in The Order: 1886 trailer), not like they're attached to a character's skin. This is what we expect from 'next gen' gaming. This is the level of immersiveness we thought we were getting when we saw trailers & gameplay videos last year.

I'm sure it will still be a great game & I'm really hoping the PC version has some graphics options to crank up, but they shouldn't claim that it doesn't look worse when it clearly does.

starjay009
starjay009

Read many comments here and have to say, the PC fan boys are the WORST of the WORST. Being a PC gamer myself, I feel dejected, ashamed to have these people mouth off about how great PC gaming is when the reality is anything but. I guess my friends have to also come out truthfully and talk about the numerous BUGS, optimization issues, BSOD crashes, CTD errors, overheating, overclocking problems, driver issues, compatibility problems often associated with PC gaming. Next time, I will post a screenshot from a PC gaming forum. Some of the topics there are hilarious. "Just bought the game, can't start it" ... "Why wouldn't this f**king game work on my Alienware ?" .... "My GTX 770 runs at 15 fps, I can max out BF4 easily"... and the topics get interesting. So my fellow PC gamers, please be honest instead of being d**ks to console gamers. PC gaming is good ONLY if it works well and it's god damn expensive. Right now, it's 60-40 in favour of PC gaming. As far as I can remember, only Half Life 2 warrants appreciation as a top notch PC title that can run flawlessly on a variety of rigs and this was almost 10 years back. PC gaming simply isn't great as some of you are making it out to be. My philosophy is simple  - get a game on the platform that most appeals to you. 

Tremblay343
Tremblay343

No game looks as good as the e3 reveal trailers.  Normally those are run on PC's showing what they want the game to look like.  There are literally dozens of games I could list off the top of my head that have done this.


I think this just makes them look worse for not owning up to that.



downloadthefile
downloadthefile

Game developers are some of the worst liars in all of the entertainment industry.  From "your choices matter," to "revolutionary gameplay changes," etc.


I find myself disgusted towards most developers.  The micro-charges for things like "virtual currency" in NBA 2k14 to unlock basic gameplay functions, or in blatant lies like BioWare with the adamant denial that DA2 was very, very different from DA:O and wouldn't appeal to fans of the first.  Or in Mass Effect 3, that our choices matter, when in reality there were 2 options the whole time, and a 3rd only if you play multiplayer in a (single player game no less).


And if we don't buy a bad game of a particular genre because it was bad, developers point to that and say "OH THE GENRE IS DEAD, NO MORE RPG's" or something akin to that.  Or if Skyrim sells well, "Now every game MUST be like Skyrim."  It just gets so annoying.

pip3dream
pip3dream

I just watched a trailer for this game on my xboxone that they are pushing right now.  I have to say... the graphics really are a bit underwhelming for a "next gen" game...for sure... for sure.  


I mean.. I hate to say it - GTA V looks to be on par with this game, graphics wise.  In the trailer that I just watched, there was a flatness to everything.   I remember this game looking much better.  Maybe I'm remember incorrectly,  but it just doesn't look as good as I remember it looking.


What the fuck is these guys always lying to us??  Like flat out lying?  Why can't they just admit that they had to make some visual sacrifices because they doont have elite hacking skills enough to make this run on next gen consoles?


I hate to say it, but the story trailer i just watched also kind of had a high cheese factor...  if this trailer would of been for a movie, i would of thought it was an "Asylum" films (you know, sharknado, 500mph Storm, Twoheaded shark attack, etc) -  it just had the dialogue of a cheesy B film thriller.


I'm worried for this game.  Hopefully the game mechanics will be fun enough that it will overshadow the lower graphics, and what looks to be a cheesy somewhat hammed up character peformances.   It's not really that surprising when you consider it is form the same dev who made Far Cry 3 - these cheesiest game in the world (story wise. Game play was great.)


wasakawaka
wasakawaka

I was excited about this game but my interest in it is starting to dwindle. I have a feeling it's going to be a game full of grinding.

lyncer777
lyncer777

@Forcecaster  Really? Even here you wanna start a flame wars on NVIDIA and AMD? JEBUS CRUST! just go to other tech sites, not here... oh please... im sick of this.


Nvidia bots are here, for starters...

youre_a_sheep
youre_a_sheep

@cofeebogart I didn't realize making the environments bright enough to actually see is considered a downgrade.

blee575
blee575

@Nevernudeftw  Most PC gamers will play this at much worse quality than console gamers.
The superiority of high-end gaming rigs is a fact. Another fact is that most PC users own low to mid-end and not high-end PCs. 
If there is someone keeping your master race from playing the games you dreamt of, it's your fellow not-so-master-race friends. Not console gamers.

EmericaCky2K
EmericaCky2K

@Nevernudeftw  Relax dude, the PC version will still have an ultra setting. 


Consoles don't hold gaming back, they FUND big project like this so us PC gamers can bask in the glory of ultra settings at 1080p 60 fps. Games this big and expensive couldn't be supported by PC gaming alone. 


Thank you consoles. 

lipsyte
lipsyte

@starjay009  PC Gamer here too, almost never had an issue in 10 years + gaming, or small ones at the very least which are easily fixable in most cases. I'm not in this "master race" BS though, but saying that PC gaming is filled with issue is just wrong.

Gears_0f_L0ve
Gears_0f_L0ve

@starjay009  PC gamer here, but this excessive,  I configure once, and I'm good.  All games work great for me.    The only reason PC gamers "struggle" is because they want to squeeze 5 more fps from their card can can't do it.  They are too spoiled for themselves.

jonaadams
jonaadams

@starjay009 Wow sounds like you got some computer issues. That sucks for you but I got to tell you,  myself, I'm not having any of those issues. At least not since Windows XP.

Optimist_Pryme
Optimist_Pryme

@starjay009 Uhhh right... just like there's no bugs, glitches, or freezes on consoles too!?  (And this is coming from somebody who games on both PC and console, and actually prefers to game on console.)

Madgnad
Madgnad

@Tremblay343 The problem is there was gameplay on the Jimmy Fallon Show which was supposedly running on the PS4 when they were playing it. This was right before their initial release date and that is the gameplay people thought they were going to get. You're right though, if people getting this for the PS4 and Xbox One thought it would look like the 2012 e3 demo then they need to understand that their systems simply can't handle those visuals. The 2013 visuals, which were downgraded from the 2012 footage at e3, was still better than what is currently being shown and that was what was advertised as actual in game footage.

00J
00J

@pip3dream  they aren't lying, they'll get you watchdogs, just a scaled down version... It's been like this for every game console in history... 

nl_skipper
nl_skipper

@pip3dream  Either everything shown previous to this was on a top-end PC running maximum settings and a higher resolution... or they're just lying through their teeth about visuals not being changed.  Either way it's misleading, as nearly all marketing goods are.  There used to be FAR more environmental effects on the go like leaves blowing in the wind and those kinds of subtle effects.


As a note, I'm not entirely obsessed with graphics, but as always, it's irritating being mislead and lied to.

redxrogue
redxrogue

@wasakawaka  Not an RPG breh. Why the hell would there be grinding? That makes zero sense.

Forcecaster
Forcecaster

@lyncer777 Everything I stated is a fact spread all around the net through news articles, blogs, interviews. Everyone is worried how "awefull" the new Watch Dogs trailer is. My comment tries to explain a possible reason based on the information that everyone can find. This is no flmae war. But tell me: is it better that now everyone hates Ubisoft and are calling them liers and users of false advertising? So show off...

ffritzy
ffritzy

@Darkhol0w @Tremblay343  Also the final Halo CE is much better that the E3 trailer, the original that is. It's almost funny how different they are.

00J
00J

@pip3dream  I'd actually buy a system that costs $1000 dollars if they can get THAT performance, you know THAT PERFORMANCE, not that-->Original Watch Dogs FPS and clarity, but THAT performance meaning a game console that can push 60 fps with photo-realistic graphics. Xbox One costs $500 I'd pay another $500 for a Super System. 


The only problem is that we'd have to wait forever for games, or would we? Sometimes I think most of the development time for games is spent shoehorning them into these limited consoles...


Darkhol0w
Darkhol0w

@nl_skipper It's already known for a lot of years that all the publishers use "behind closed doors" high end PC's to show off their games at E3 for demos and what not so this is nothing new.

This is all to make gullible people preorder their game in advance.

pip3dream
pip3dream

@nl_skipper  Indeed - I mean the first thing to note is where this is coming from  "PR REPRESENTATIVE."  My confidence in a PR REP's technical knowledge of a game isn't very solid.  A PR rep's one and only job is to sell the shit out of whatever they are repping with whatever spin they have to use. These guys are the kings of spinning shit into gold.  


Like yourself, I'm not a graphics fiend at all - as noted, I finished my above paragraph by being hopeful that the gameplay itself in this game would be enough to salvage any wrong doing by poor graphics or story writing. 

_Silent_Jay_
_Silent_Jay_

@nl_skipper All the stuff was on either a high end workstation, or a devkit in the case of the Sony E3 demo, and Ubisoft was up front about that.  Nothing shown was ever on the consumer hardware, and that's always been the case when it comes to pre-launch showings, as you can't use hardware that doesn't exist yet.  There's always going to be changes, but that's almost always due to changes in the hardware specs.

If there actually have been any changes, it's because the hardware couldn't handle it.  (And before you cite ACM, that's a completely different issue than this, as there was no new hardware involved.)

thefinalzapkeet
thefinalzapkeet

@nl_skipper or there are just some weird things going on.

Like, i looked at clips from the stream.  the gif that's going around was in there, but they showed earlier in the car chase and it looked fine, what you would expect from a PS4 game.   

http://a.pomf.se/faclvx.gif

I just don't get why the first gif looks so bad.  from what i've heard from others it could just be that the car was going too fast for the textures to load and the .gif was reallly bad timing

Optimist_Pryme
Optimist_Pryme

@pip3dream Uhm, to be perfectly honest, most every launch video/trailer I've ever seen typically have a fine-print disclaimer that tend to say something along the lines of, "is a work of progress, and may not necessarily be a representation of the final product"... #justsaying

pip3dream
pip3dream

@_Silent_Jay_ @nl_skipper  I'm not sure where they told us that the Watch Dogs footage was not going to be comparable to the actual game.  I must of missed that.  


If your argument here is true, and I would agree it makes sense you can't showcase a game on hardware that doesn't exist, it just sucks that they can't be truthful to the public about the degradation of the graphics we see now from the original game footage.


Optimist_Pryme
Optimist_Pryme

@ECH71REFERENCE:  www.zicara.com/techbytes/web-design/disadvantages-gif-images

Also, QUOTE: "The format supports up to 8 bits per pixel for each image, allowing a single image to reference its own palette of up to 256 different colors chosen from the 24-bit RGB color space. It also supports animations and allows a separate palette of up to 256 colors for each frame. These palette limitations make the GIF format unsuitable for reproducing color photographs and other images with continuous color, but it is well-suited for simpler images such as graphics or logos with solid areas of color." SOURCE:  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphics_Interchange_Format


Might want to research before you try to act like you know everything about everything... #justsaying

Optimist_Pryme
Optimist_Pryme

@_Silent_Jay_ I know right?  The more technology becomes broadly available to the masses, I swear it's like the intelligence quotient of the masses becomes increasingly less at a exponential downfall.  It's like everybody assumes that just because they have access to the technology they fully understand every iota of how it works, the functions, and all the little scemantic within.  As you stated, the fact anybody can make a final call on a GIF is sadly, rather hilarious... it'd be like judging whether or not a TV show is going to be good, by a still photo advertisement of it in a magazine... of course, considering the world rotates on shallowness, judgement, pettiness, and snobbery... perhaps it's just par for the course... who knows I guess. ^_^

ECH71
ECH71

@_Silent_Jay_ @thefinalzapkeet  Firstly, GIFs and JPGs don't have any particular maximum dimensions so to compare them is idiotic. You can have animated GIFs in 4K if you wanted, as long as your system can process it.


Second, the original VIDEO footage is out there, you can probably find the link if you scroll way down the comments -- it is the same source the animated GIF was created from.


Finally, even with degradation of image quality, that animated GIF still shows the lighting/shader issues.

_Silent_Jay_
_Silent_Jay_

@thefinalzapkeet It's also a fucking gif, which has a an even lower resoultion than a jpg, with a fraction of the colour depth.  Making an expert opinion on graphics quality based on a gif, is basically saying that you're an idiot with nothing useful to say.

pip3dream
pip3dream

@thefinalzapkeet  I don't quite understand what we're looking at in that .gif up there - what system is that from?