The Real Reason Assassin’s Creed Unity for PS4 isn’t 1080p

Ubisoft, developer and publisher of the Assassin’s Creed series of video games, isn’t only refuting reports that Assassin’s Creed Unity for PS4 is being held back by Microsoft’s Xbox One console. In a blog post Ubisoft representatives also explain why Assassin’s Creed Unity is locked at 900p on all consoles.

Speaking frankly, Ubisoft Sr. Communications Manager, Gary Steinman seeks to clear the air concerning Assassin’s Creed Unity’s resolution and frame rate when it launches in roughly a month. “Let’s be clear up front: Ubisoft does not constrain its games,” the post starts out. Steinman later includes commends made by Senior Producer Vincent Pontbriand, whose words Ubisoft argues were slightly twisted to make it sound as if Ubisoft had artificially hampered the version that PS4 users can pick up on November 11th.


Earlier this week, an outlet quoting Pontbriand indicated that both the Xbox One and PS4 versions would run at 30 frames per second and have a resolution of 900p so that Ubisoft could guarantee the same experience for all its users. Those statements likely didn’t attract as many raised eyebrows as Pontbraind’s phrasing on “locking” Assassin’s Creed Unity’s resolution.

Read: Key Assassin’s Creed Unity Detail Sparks PS4 fan Outrage

This latest statement is a two-pronged attack against those that accused Ubisoft of harming the experience of its own game for users.

“… the team has dedicated much of the past few months to optimizing Unity to reach 900p with a consistent 30 frames per second. Considering the sheer number of pixels that are being around at all times – which affects both the CPU and GPU – that’s a significant achievement.” He goes on to note that, “As with all hardware, it becomes easier to optimize with more experience and software/middleware solutions that only come with time.”

Ubisoft says that Assassin’s Creed Unity is locked at 900p because it’s trying a lot of new things that have an impact on performance. The world of Paris, France that buyers will get to play in is a one-to-one recreation of the real thing. That, plus better textures means that Ubisoft had to make some sacrifices when it came to delivering on a true 1080p frame rate with 60 frames per second on the screen. Ideally, all games for the Xbox One and Xbox 360 would hit these specs. More pixels and a higher frame rate guarantees a better looking, more lifelike game.

In addition to better graphics and new play mechanics, Ubisoft also points out that the non-playable characters players encounter in the game has an impact on how many frames per second they can deliver. NPCs as they’re called, require processing to render. Videos indicate Assassin’s Creed Unity will have dozens of unplayable characters on the screen at any given moment. Ubisoft is encouraging users to pre-order the game and take a look at what they’re actually getting before deciding on whether the frame rate and resolution specifications are deal-breakers.

Read: Assassin’s Creed Unity Trailer Reveals Why It’s the Best

Regardless of how you feel about the resolution, the statement is accurate in one way. Assassin’s Creed Unity appears to be the first genuine large-scale evolution of the franchise that we’ve seen in years. Things like builders looking better are one thing, but Assassin’s Creed Unity includes tons more upgrades. Players can get down from buildings just as easily as they can get up. Co-operative multiplayer is weaved into many of the game’s missions. Missions, aren’t necessarily static in the sense that players must complete a task a certain way. There’s more fluidity and side missions to complete inside every mission.  Assassin’s Creed Unity will be available on the Xbox One and PS4 on November 11th for $60. That’s the same day Ubisoft plans to release Assassin’s Creed Rogue, a decidedly less ambitious game for owners of the Xbox 360 and PS3.