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Video game development company Ubisoft, once a bastion of unfettered creativity, continues to inspire controversy and frustration, prompting some to call them the “next EA.”
So what’s the problem this time? Following the Watch Dogs graphics controversy from earlier this year, Ubisoft is now coming under fire for allegedly hobbling the PlayStation 4 version of the upcoming latest installment in the Assassin’s Creed franchise.
The story goes something like this: Ubisoft recognizes that these two ostensibly “next-gen” consoles are not evenly matched. And they know that gamers everywhere know it, too. So, like an embattled and frustrated parent might choose to do, Ubisoft has attempted to solve the problem by cutting the metaphorical baby in half.
In other words, both the PS4 and Xbox One versions of Assassin’s Creed: Unity will run at a laughable 900p and 30fps (frames per second). The PS4 is, at least theoretically, capable of higher resolutions and frame rates than the Xbox One, but Ubisoft wants the two versions of the game to match in order to “avoid all the debates and stuff.” That’s according to Vincent Pontbriand, senior producer for the project, who sounds every bit as tired of the fanboy bickering as the rest of us.
PC Gaming Rises to the Challenge
Here’s the part that makes me laugh. Both “sides” of this “debate” are pretending that the PS4 and Xbox One (hereafter referred to as “Xbone”) are the only options for playing this game. There is, of course, another.
The PC has always been the obvious platform of choice for people who care about video games, but this has become even more obvious in the last couple of years.
Let’s be honest about something: both Sony and Microsoft have released spectacularly disappointing consoles this time around. A console that struggles to render a game in 1080p is, frankly, embarrassing in the year 2014.
PC gamers’ individual mileage may vary, but when Unity launches later this year, PC gamers will be the ones taking home the bragging rights, what with frame rates and resolutions that will handily leave the consoles in the dust. Even fairly modest gaming rigs will outstrip the PS4 and Xbone.
Why this seems to elude people is, frankly, a mystery. People who care about gaming owe it to themselves to switch to PC – and to communicate to companies like Ubisoft that we don’t need to be beholden to shoddy hardware and inelegant compromises.
When Is It Going to End?
Look – I’ll be the first to admit that PC gamers can be a frustrating lot. Yes, our platform of choice is superior. And yes, we know it. And we can be really annoying about it. Please forgive us; don’t mistake enthusiasm for animosity.
A long-running joke among the PC faithful is that PCs are “only good for doing taxes.” A friend of mine works for Ritacco Disability – a law firm based in central Pennsylvania. While practicing law isn’t quite the same thing as filing your tax return, we both agree that being able to seamlessly switch from work to play on the same machine is a breath of fresh air when you compare it to the Microsoft and Sony consoles.
Look – I’m not here to convert you. There are some good reasons for owning a gaming console; I just wish people would stop pretending like consoles are the be-all and end-all of gaming. If you needed a little more persuasion, I’d check out the following sites:
Kotaku: Why PC Gaming is Cheaper
Reddit: Build a PC Sub-Reddit
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