Assassin's Creed Unity Runs at 900p/30fps on Xbox One and PS4 to "Avoid Debates" [Update]
Limited by the consoles' CPUs, neither the Xbox One nor PS4 version of Unity will run at the reported target of 1080p/60fps.
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Update: Ubisoft has issued a statement denying it has downgraded the PS4 version of Assassin's Creed Unity.
Original story: The new current-gen and PC-only Assassin's Creed game, Assassin's Creed Unity, will run at a resolution of 900p and a frame rate of 30 frames per second on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
Speaking with VideoGamer, senior producer Vincent Pontbriand revealed the figures, which come in below the 1080p/60fps figures that Ubisoft was reportedly targeting for both platforms. And while there is a technical reason for not being able to reach those numbers, Ubisoft decided to make the two console versions identical in the interest of parity. "We decided to lock them at the same specs to avoid all the debates and stuff," Pontbriand explained.
What holds Unity back is the processors that the consoles are equipped with. They are what's responsible for handling AI--and there is a lot of that to be handled, as Ubisoft has claimed the game can support crowds of 30,000 NPCs.
"Technically we're CPU-bound," Pontbriand said. "The GPUs are really powerful, obviously the graphics look pretty good, but it's the CPU [that] has to process the AI, the number of NPCs we have on screen, all these systems running in parallel.
"We were quickly bottlenecked by that and it was a bit frustrating, because we thought that this was going to be a tenfold improvement over everything AI-wise, and we realized it was going to be pretty hard. It's not the number of polygons that affect the frame rate. We could be running at 100fps if it was just graphics, but because of AI, we're still limited to 30 frames per second."
We've followed up with Ubisoft to see if we can learn anything more about the situation.
Both the Xbox One and PS4 versions of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag ran at 900p initially, but a patch released on launch day brought the PS4 version up to the vaunted resolution of 1080p. It isn't the only game to run at a high resolution on PS4, but more recently, thanks to an update, developers have increasingly reached 1080p with the Xbox One versions of their games.
Unity is one of two original Assassin's Creed games coming on November 11, the other being Assassin's Creed Rogue for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. For more on Unity, check out our newly published preview.