At the beginning of this year, very shortly before Watch_Dogs was released, Ubisoft announced that the game will run at 30FPS in 900p on Playstation 4 and at 30FPS in 792p on Xbox One.
Not to mention that the game was downgraded from the planned quality.
After these news I was pretty disappointed about the ‘next-generation consoles’. And later I have found out that I was totally wrong.
Why is it happening so shortly after the release of the new consoles?
Many people have reported that on ATI GPUs this game WAS (the Beta driver solves this problem!) running pretty badly compared to Nvidia. For example if you had about a $200 Nvidia gpu, then you had to get a $500 ATI gpu to have the same experience.
The Truth is here:
The major reason was the fact that the game was developed with the Nvidia GameWorks toolkit and with the help of Nvidia, which is really useful and nice, but when it comes to optimization across manufacturers you must know that Nvidia ‘classifies’ the source code, so AMD (and ATI) had no chance to optimize the game and their cards. AMD is active in helping game developers, but they have refused the help. AMD makes the code open source, so Nvidia can optimize its cards to the game directy. The engineers at AMD had to use game analytics tools to optimize the game to the GPUs.
By the way Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag was in the same exact situation as Watch_Dogs, but that game is not as resource-hungry as this one.
And here is a worse thing: the PC unoptimzitaion carried over to the Xbox One and to the Playstation 4 too, because both of these two machines have AMD APUs (CPU+GPU). As I know, there is no major patch planned for these two consoles.
An other major reason can be, that the team at Ubisoft has been developinbg this game from 2009 (so for 5 years)!
Minor reason (maybe): And they were maybe too unexperienced in terms of the new consoles, or they didn’t have quite enough time to optimize the game to the new consoles, so the game could run at 60FPS and in 1080p on both: on the Playstation 4 and on the Xbox One.
We can be sure now, that in the future (I am referring to Assassin’s Creed: Unity, the Division, Crew, Rainbow Six: Siege and maybe years later Watch_Dogs 2) they will make sure to the games they are going to release will be optimized for both manufacturer and also for both consoles.