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Watch Dogs misses 1080p target on consoles

Watch Dogs misses 1080p target on consoles

Ubisoft's hack-'em-up Watch Dogs won't manage 1080p on either next-generation console, the company has admitted - despite claims of 1080p60 performance on the PS4 from Sony.

Ubisoft has confirmed that neither the Xbox One nor the PS4 will be capable of playing its upcoming hack-'em-up Watch Dogs at 1080p, despite claims by Sony to the contrary - suggesting the game is having last-minute performance problems.

Late last week, Sony published a product post to its official PlayStation site claiming that the PS4 port of Watch Dogs would be the only console release of the game capable of showing off the engine's impressive visuals, offering a full 60 frames per second at a 1080p resolution. The message was clear: as expected, third-party developers are finding the difference between the PS4 and the Xbox One, with the former having a more powerful graphics processor but the latter boasting a chunk of EDRAM on the chip itself, is allowing them to get more out of their games on Sony's console.

The news post disappeared over the weekend, however, and Ubisoft has now confirmed why: the PS4 port of Watch Dogs will only run at a 900p resolution, and will be locked to 30 frames per second. That's a considerable departure from Sony's claims, which were likely based on an earlier build of the title - and suggest that Ubisoft has had trouble optimising the engine, despite a delay to the game which was supposed to launch in November alongside the two next-generation consoles.

Sony still has cause for celebration, however: the PS4 version might not have come close to the 1080p60 figure promised by the company last week, but it's still managed to outperform its Xbox One rival. According to Ubisoft's official figures, the Xbox One port will be limited to 792p resolution in order to hit the same 30 frames per second cap as the PS4. Both, naturally, will be outperformed by the Windows release of the game - providing, that is, you've got the hardware to accommodate the title.

Sony has not yet commented on what led it to claim 1080p60 performance for the title, nor Ubisoft on why the PS4 release was unable to reach those heady heights.

43 Comments

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GeorgeK 14th May 2014, 10:29 Quote
If I owned either of these consoles I'd be rather concerned by these performance issues - if the consoles are still relatively brand new and can't play the games of 'today' (BF4 was another that springs to mind) up to the promised standards (1080p60) then how will they ever cope with the games of the future... I realise that over time people manage to squeeze more and more from existing console hardware but even still...
maverik-sg1 14th May 2014, 10:54 Quote
I am not that worried about console graphics, they were good but never awesome (or required to be so) and to compete with other disruptive technologies in that market place compromises were to be made.

It's probably that developers are still trying to find the limits and it's still trial and error until those limits are really known....although we all know the hardware is lacking in both compute cores and overall grunt.

People will still buy them and play them if every game from now until the end of it's life are on 720p....providing movie streaming is still 1080P or even 4k capable there's no real issue.

However, once again the consoles of today will cap the overall visual quality of PC gaming for years to come, but I am surprised it's started already.
Hustler 14th May 2014, 12:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeK
If I owned either of these consoles I'd be rather concerned by these performance issues - if the consoles are still relatively brand new and can't play the games of 'today' (BF4 was another that springs to mind) up to the promised standards (1080p60) then how will they ever cope with the games of the future... I realise that over time people manage to squeeze more and more from existing console hardware but even still...

Trouble is, expectations were set too high, these games were first unveiled running on top end 2012 PC's with a Quad Core Intel CPU & SLI GPU setup powering them and people bought into the hype that it was what games on consoles only equivalent to a single GPU mid-range PC would look like.
GeorgeK 14th May 2014, 12:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hustler
Trouble is, expectations were set too high

Exactly this - if I had bought one of them on the "promise" (and yes I use that word very loosely) that I would be playing the newest, shiniest games at 60fps at 1080p I would feel very, very aggrieved...
Corky42 14th May 2014, 12:23 Quote
Won't 1080p @ 60fps be old hat in a few years, what with the push to 4K.
GeorgeK 14th May 2014, 12:24 Quote
And that - I wonder how the consoles would cope with 4K
dyzophoria 14th May 2014, 12:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hustler


Trouble is, expectations were set too high, these games were first unveiled running on top end 2012 PC's with a Quad Core Intel CPU & SLI GPU setup powering them and people bought into the hype that it was what games on consoles only equivalent to a single GPU mid-range PC would look like.

nuff said, they sould have not really pushed 1080p@60fps advertising too much, though can't say maybe the game (watch dogs) have not really been optimized that much, given when I saw AC4 on the XB1, I can't really understand why it is running at 900p@30fps, and (correct me if im wrong) 1080p@30fps on the PS4. the game is really not that graphics intensive IMHO (though excellent gameplay to be fair)
xaser04 14th May 2014, 13:11 Quote
TBH I am more concerned that a game this late in its development - and having been delayed already - is STILL having performance problems.

Compared to something like Infamous (1080p native), it is difficult to see why they are having issues with this game performance wise. My only assumption is the cross platform (mainly to the previous generation consoles) nature of the game has caused a general lack of optimisation across both new consoles.
Pookie 14th May 2014, 13:13 Quote
This makes me lol. I would be gutted If I had invested in a console.
SimoomiZ 14th May 2014, 13:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Another explanation could be that they were shocked by the reaction to that 1080P/60 build demo footage and so they've reintroduced some eye candy from the impressive target build - at a performance cost.

With both 360 and PS3 wasn't it the case that only first party games looked anything like 'next-gen' for at least the first few years?
DriftCarl 14th May 2014, 13:20 Quote
I am glad I am PC master race
SimoomiZ 14th May 2014, 13:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookie
This makes me lol. I would be gutted If I had invested in a console.

Not really.

Look at PS3/360 titles at similar early stage. This is a DX11 multi platform build afaik, one that's been in development for a long time.
SimoomiZ 14th May 2014, 13:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeK
Exactly this - if I had bought one of them on the "promise" (and yes I use that word very loosely) that I would be playing the newest, shiniest games at 60fps at 1080p I would feel very, very aggrieved...

The early first party games give a more realistic view of potential:

http://www.dualshockers.com/2014/04/14/infamous-second-sons-characters-are-120000-polygons-11-million-rendered-regularly-by-the-engine/



Interesting presentation: http://suckerpunch.playstation.com/images/stories/GDC14_infamous_second_son_engine_postmortem.pdf

Of course, Ubisoft wanting cross-platform parity can't put huge resources into such platform specific optimisations.

And Xbone needs DX12.
damien c 14th May 2014, 14:00 Quote
It doesn't surprise me that the consoles are not hitting 1080p 60fps since they have such a low spec in them, regardless of how developers can use the hardware in them.

I have a Xbox One and seeing it struggle with Titanfall of all games.

Yes DX12 may help the Xbox One, but even then it's still not going to hit the 1080p 60fps mark that most developers are going on about unless they drop the detail levels, down by quite a few notches in each game.
SimoomiZ 14th May 2014, 14:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by damien c
It doesn't surprise me that the consoles are not hitting 1080p 60fps since they have such a low spec in them, regardless of how developers can use the hardware in them.

I have a Xbox One and seeing it struggle with Titanfall of all games.

Yes DX12 may help the Xbox One, but even then it's still not going to hit the 1080p 60fps mark that most developers are going on about unless they drop the detail levels, down by quite a few notches in each game.

All the studios are saying it will make a big difference in trying to solve the XBO's resolution woes. It would have made a big difference to an AAA title like Titanfall.

Quote:
"First and foremost, it provides a lower level of hardware abstraction than ever before, allowing games to significantly improve multithread scaling and CPU utilization. In addition, games will benefit from reduced GPU overhead via features such as descriptor tables and concise pipeline state objects.

"And that's not all - Direct3D 12 also introduces a set of new rendering pipeline features that will dramatically improve the efficiency of algorithms such as order-independent transparency, collision detection, and geometry culling."
Corky42 14th May 2014, 15:02 Quote
Lets hope DX12 does improve things otherwise we will have to put up with what happened last generation, 3-4 years of games being toned down to run on the lowest common denominator.

Then again the Xbox One will be two years old by then, so maybe it will just be a method for it to keep pace.
Harlequin 14th May 2014, 15:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hustler
Trouble is, expectations were set too high.

I want my xbox one to have an i7 and sli gtx 680`s ! all for under £400! and an ssd and 8gb of ram....
loftie 14th May 2014, 15:38 Quote
What fps did the PS3 and 360 run at, 30?
GeorgeK 14th May 2014, 15:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin
I want my xbox one to have an i7 and sli gtx 680`s ! all for under £400! and an ssd and 8gb of ram....

Lol - that'd be nice...

In all seriousness though - there are many articles on the interwebs where they build PCs for less than the cost of the xbone / PS4 that are better than either...
xaser04 14th May 2014, 15:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by loftie
What fps did the PS3 and 360 run at, 30?

Depends entirely on the game in question and whether we are talking target or actual.

GT6 for example targets "1080p" (not 1920x1080 though) @ 60fps. In reality in runs at up to 60fps (IIRC around 50fps average).

GTAV on the other hand runs at 720p (native) @ around 25-30fps. I assume it targets 30fps.
rollo 14th May 2014, 16:39 Quote
Not really sure why this is a surprise, was mostly pc people who were hoping the new consoles would push graphics in the first place.

First real game kinda falls over before it even hits 1080p is funny but predictable.

First party titles from MS and Sony will be the max resolution but that hardly changes much for pc gamers.
Cei 14th May 2014, 17:59 Quote
There's a lot of nonsense in this thread, which is disappointing.

The PS4 can hit 1080p - look at AC4: Black Flag as an example, or Infamous:Second Son as another. However, just like with the PC, if the developers overload on visual fidelity, either the frame rate or resolution takes a hit. Remember when we all struggled to run Crysis smoothly, so much so it became a meme?

Watch_Dogs is exactly this. Ubisoft have released a game where the graphical fidelity has been pitched at a point where resolution has to take a hit. They want to maintain a 30fps framerate to stop it being a jerky mess. Of course, if all they were interested in was OMG 1080P ALWAYS they'd just cut some effects. Unfortunately somebody at Sony messed up and released wrong information for a few days that boasted 1080p60, which was taken down. No need to get all agitated about a mistake, seriously.

I'd also comment that this is still early in console cycles. It takes years before developers really know how to get the most out of a system, so I doubt that Watch_Dogs is really truly pushing the limit - but it's an early game, so that is to be forgiven.

The interesting point is that yet again, the Xbone is running at an even lower resolution.
sandys 14th May 2014, 18:28 Quote
I don't think anyone who has half a clue about gaming and hardware expects a £300 machine to do 1080p in everything, still its surprising about watchdogs performance issues as it doesn't even look that good when I have sat in their demos.

Probably be a better experience on console than PC once uplay is factored in regardless of res :)
rollo 14th May 2014, 18:30 Quote
You got a point there sandys as Uplay is just a bad piece of crap.
Porkins' Wingman 14th May 2014, 19:16 Quote
Won't do the current round of virtual reality headsets many favours if the current gen of consoles can't guarantee 1080p, kinda suggests VR will be full of watered down games just to make sure they'll run on PS4/XB1 (assuming these consoles are being targeted by VR manufacturers. What do I know?).
Guinevere 14th May 2014, 23:31 Quote
It's probably too late for the current generation. But I think a reworking on how consoles are managed over a period of years is needed. If the PS4 can't handle full eye-candy + 1080p + 60fps, then it's not up to delivering VR... to a high visual standard and is a non starter for 4K.

Now if Sony released a new PS4 every year, with updated specs then old games will still run on the new hardware at 720p 900p (or whatever) but new games will run at higher res / faster FPS on the new hardware.

This is how things work in the PC, Smart Phone & Tablet space, so why would it be so awful for a console?

Sure it adds in additional configurations but if newer hardware generally means 'faster' then it's not that hard for developers to adjust. They're already doing that on mobile, the game engines can all do it and with known configurations it'll be a lot easier than it is on PC... and a lot of 'A' titles are on PC anyway.

A few generations in and games will be able to support 4K with clean graphics, or easily handle 1080p / VR with near photorealism and high FPS / Low latency VR demands.

Hell, Sony could release a 'Pro' edition of a PS4 with a beefed up GPU / SSD at four times the price of the base unit and it would sell.

It's time to make console gaming as easy as console gaming but with specification tiers to keep pace with progress.

I'm all up for a PS4 Pro MKIII... that's the one to buy for sures.

Hmmm did I just invent the steam box?
rollo 15th May 2014, 01:13 Quote
Consoles are what they are a fixed platform that does not improve over time. Would not get many buyers buying a £400 console once a year. A large part of the target audiance is the young 8-16 year olds. Dout mams or dads around the world would thank Sony or MS for a yearly upgrade cycle all it would do is force them to look at alternatives.

In 3 years you could build a high end gaming pc that would outstrip any console Sony or MS could make with just the money spent replacing the console year to year.

You would also struggle to get backwards compatibility guarenteed as the gpu and cpu change so the code would have to be rewritten to support them. As all games on consoles eventually get coded direct to metal. Which means if the gpu no longer exists it needs something to allow it to talk to the gpu in the system.

Even if they wanted to could AMD keep up with that level of development as thats who both companies use these days. There All in one System on Chips would have to become alot more powerful than they currently are to allow for full 1080p gaming let alone 4k gaming.

Most phones are heavily subbed in the uk at least, Tablets ( name a tablet not made by apple to sell 7mil + (which is what the ps4 has sold so far most likely closer to 12mil by year end) and cost £300 +. Ill give you a hint there is not one.)

Pc upgrade cycle for most is once every 2 years and thats only the gpu or gpus. You no longer need to buy a new cpu every year. Old gen i7s 920 - 980 ect are more than enough for current games. 580 gpu can still max out most games at the 1080 resolution as well.

Not even alot of 64 bit exe games yet.

As I said earlier some PC gamers are desperate for Consoles to push Graphics development when in reality they should be looking at the developers themselves to push the development. Cryengine is a decent example of what a PC game can look like.
Harlequin 15th May 2014, 02:01 Quote
MS have sold more xboxones since launch than alienware sold gaming pc`s in 5 years. remember that
isaac12345 15th May 2014, 05:41 Quote
LAAAAAZZZYYYY LIARS!!
zimano 15th May 2014, 06:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
mams.

+50 for the use of this word. Still have to correct the spelling on any cards I buy for my mother, mum is such a horrible word :)
sandys 15th May 2014, 09:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
As I said earlier some PC gamers are desperate for Consoles to push Graphics development when in reality they should be looking at the developers themselves to push the development. Cryengine is a decent example of what a PC game can look like.

A lot of people can't afford the cutting edge and so no one would buy the game, remember Crysis, they tried that, people bought it the spent most of the time complaining on the internet they couldn't run it, it did not sell well.
[USRF]Obiwan 15th May 2014, 10:39 Quote
Its a matter of choice:

Consoles:
720P = eycandy + steady frame rate
1080P = eyecandy + fluctuating framerate
OR
1080P = no eycandy + steady framerate


OR
Depening on system specs
PC = Much more candy + 60fps


If they want to push cutting edge graphics with acceptable frame rates they should push 720P. Does it really makes a big difference doing a console on a big TV screen between 720P and 1080P? Maybe the 1% of purists out there. Remember the WII. Graphics from the 80's but everyone wanted it. Normal consumers do not give a **** about 720p/1080p, they just want to play that OMG game everybody talks about.
Corky42 15th May 2014, 10:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
As I said earlier some PC gamers are desperate for Consoles to push Graphics development when in reality they should be looking at the developers themselves to push the development. Cryengine is a decent example of what a PC game can look like.

The problem is in this fragmented market publishers want to reach as wide an audience as possible, so most of the time developers either have to make games that very scalable, or limit their game to the lowest spec.
Highly scalable is very difficult and costly to do as it can involve different textures, different models, etc, etc.
rollo 15th May 2014, 11:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandys
A lot of people can't afford the cutting edge and so no one would buy the game, remember Crysis, they tried that, people bought it the spent most of the time complaining on the internet they couldn't run it, it did not sell well.

Crysis is in the top 20 highest selling pc games of all time for the record. It's been done before corky, look at bf3 or bf4, medium its a console port. Ultra they both look amazing.

Most mmos are good at this scaling, World of Warcraft looks so old on min. Looks a lot newer on the later settings. Because they have such a wide target audience. With people still running single core CPU systems in some places.

I'd expect star citizen to scale very well as they have a wide target audience.

Watchdogs on pc will likely run on a very minimum spec pc. It should end up been able to scale to some of the early promo vids that were shown.
Corky42 15th May 2014, 11:56 Quote
Don't get me wrong I'm not saying it can't be done.

Just that until recently (2-3 years) game engines were not able to scale from the very low, to the very high.
AFAIK a lot of the newer game engines have been designed with scalability very much in mind from the get go,
so i don't see it being as big a problem as it was last generation.

Although saying that It's still down to the develops/publisher to invest the time and money into making it so.
Shirty 15th May 2014, 12:14 Quote
Watch Dogs will run admirably on a very humble PC with medium settings I expect, which will be roughly equivalent to console graphics - albeit it a higher (or non-upscaled) resolution on the PC.

I also expect the jump to ultra settings to cripple all but very high end rigs, for a barely tangible visual difference form the next setting down. It's quite often the way nowadays.

Direct to metal coding aside, the consoles really aren't that powerful. They will thrive on exclusives that are effectively coded, but on multi-platform releases they will struggle to perform without massive optimization. Far easier to render fewer pixels than to wrestle with complex code.
Mister_Tad 15th May 2014, 12:20 Quote
It never fails to surprise me, even though it really shouldn't at this point, how the graphics part of games always seems to take front and centre, especially with the resurgence of retro and indie games. Yes, this is somewhat newsworthy on account of Sony's "promise", but relevant? Meh.

If you absolutely must have 1080p60+ on all of the latest games with everything on to make your life worth living, then maybe a budget £300 console with a 5-7 year life isn't for you and you should think about setting up an annual £1000+ standing order to your favourite component vendor.

Great games will be great at either 1080p or 720p - and if you're scrutinising the graphics or fidelity it's probably not that great a great game.

Crap games will still be crap at 4k.

Granted, this was more ranty than I intended, but I stand by it :p
Corky42 15th May 2014, 12:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister_Tad
Crap games will still be crap at 4k.

Yea but just think of the greater fidelity of that crap :D
Mister_Tad 15th May 2014, 12:27 Quote
You can almost make out the peanuts!
Shirty 15th May 2014, 12:51 Quote
Indeed - it's a fair rant. I for one am not anticipating Watch Dogs to be a game-changer, I expect it to be decent and pretty, one for the sales.
loftie 15th May 2014, 13:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister_Tad
You can almost make out the peanuts!

They need to improve the graphics more, that's actually sweetcorn :D
sandys 15th May 2014, 13:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
Crysis is in the top 20 highest selling pc games of all time for the record.

Very long tail, as hardware caught up and it was bundled more it shifted more units but it took a few years to shift. you obviously don't recall the devs complaining about the sales and bemoaning the pirates.
Harlequin 15th May 2014, 13:54 Quote
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crysis#Sales

83,000 ish sales in 2 weeks

1 million in 2 months - and after 2 1/2 years sold 3 million - that's the top 20 game sales.


black ops 2 sold 7.5 million in 11 days on console


http://www.vg247.com/2012/12/07/black-ops-moved-7-5-million-copies-in-11-days-according-to-november-npd-data/

in the usa alone.

Halo 4 on xbox 360 sold 3.2 million in the same period.
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