Watch Dogs Visual Analysis: PS4 vs. Xbox One vs. PC, PS3 vs. Xbox 360

Another let down from the vaults of Ubisoft.

Posted By | On 31st, May. 2014 Under Article, Editorials


This year’s one of the most anticipated games had been launched finally on the 27th of May. The day also marked a new record for Ubisoft as the game became the most sold game in the history of the company. But has it earned the title in the good sense of it?

Both. the Xbox One and the PS4 have toned down resolutions but that discussion is for later, because Ubisoft botched the PC release of the game. It’s literally been in shambles with frantic efforts from Ubisoft, Nvidia and especially AMD to fix the horrendous fiasco. Three days have done a lot but it’s still not enough for the PC users. With that being said, there are some significant differences in the performance of the game across the different platforms.

Watch Dogs

" The PS4 somehow manages to look better at times than the PC counterpart although that's not always the case - not too far from it either- , it’s still surprising that the console manages to catch up to the aesthetic performance of an high end PC."

On general basis, Watch Dogs employs bloom effects and good texture resolutions on all the platforms, making the game look excellent on the older generation of consoles. the newer generation of consoles, doesn’t have anything to leave you spellbound, but it comes nowhere near disappointing; that is, if you choose to forget the E3 demo footage from last year. Maybe Ubisoft heard someone say encore after From Software’s stint with Dark Souls 2.

Coming to the actual number crunching, the Xbox One manages an odd resolution of 792p, with its Sony counterpart standing not too tall at 900p. Nonetheless, the game more than makes up for the lack of low resolutions with good textures. The PS4 somehow manages to look better at times than the PC counterpart although that’s not always the case – not too far from it either- , it’s still surprising that the console manages to catch up to the aesthetic performance of an high endPC.

And what better for console owners than to have their game run more consistently than the PC users? Well, as of now. A number of patches have been issued for the PC version of the game, with AMD vying to give its customers an experience anywhere near smooth, owing to Ubisoft’s abstinence from not working with AMD on the game at all.

In light of that fact, AMD has managed things really well. Even people with Nvidia cards have had tonnes of issues; one of many Steam users complaining of the game had said that the game was running at sub-30fps on an GTX760, that too not on ultra settings. Therefore, the argument that the PC manages to outperform the consoles a fair bit with its better textures, frame buffers et al, is rendered useless as the PC fails to perform consistently, which its console counterparts do almost flawlessly; even the older generation of consoles.

Watch Dogs

"Texture pop-ins are more in the Xbox one version in contrast to the Sony counterpart. Anti-aliasing is a let down when compared but otherwise, considering the resolution that the game runs on, anti-aliasing is actually good as the low resolution does not result in a lot of jaggies. "

The Xbox One version of Watch Dogs has a number of issues that mar its glory in comparison to the PS4. The differences aren’t something that ruin the gameplay entirely, but these factors DO affect the gameplay. Texture pop-ins are more in the Xbox one version in contrast to the Sony counterpart. Anti-aliasing is a let down when compared but otherwise, considering the resolution that the game runs on, anti-aliasing is actually good as the low resolution does not result in a lot of jaggies.

Frame time is not very consistent either, which results in frame rate drops and tearing which can be horribly annoying at times, happening even in cut scenes. but the most notable downside of Watch Dogs on the Xbox One is the poor implementation of ambient occlusion. Ambient occlusion is there in the game all right, but it could have been polished further making the game look even more beautiful.

The apparent poor implementation of ambient occlusion is most visible when the player roams in daylight, tiled floors with gaps in between them and even stair show the problem quite extensively. Even though it may not be noticeable at first, the experience on the Xbox One seems a little odd vis-a-vis the PS4, amplified the by the slightly toned down shadow quality too. The PS4 also seems to have a neater look in a way. That ‘neat look’ is owed to the slightly better textures in the PS4 version of Watch Dogs.

The difference is not staggering, but neither is it a frivolous one. There still is stuttering in the game but it isn’t as bad as the PC or even the Xbox One. Even so, the Xbox One and the PS4 run Watch Dogs at a consistent 30fps with the former facing some issues with keeping up to the count due to increased frame render times at certain instances.

ps4 watch dogs

"The PS3 and the Xbox 360 manage to run the game consistently at 30fps with an occasional few hitches and frame rate drops but they aren’t much and do not affect the gameplay much. In comparison to their successors, both the consoles have much lower a level of detailing but it still manages to look excellent going by the consoles’ hardware configurations. "

The older generation doesn’t fare bad at all with this game. The PS3 and the Xbox 360 manage to run the game consistently at 30fps with an occasional few hitches and frame rate drops but they aren’t much and do not affect the gameplay much. In comparison to their successors, both the consoles have much lower a level of detailing but it still manages to look excellent going by the consoles’ hardware configurations.

Ambient occlusion and high grade anti-aliasing take a back seat, but the shadows are still pretty good and so are the textures. The character details are excellent by last gen standards as the developers haven’t omitted entire set items, but only reduced the overall detailing. The city in itself, looks a lot less dense because naturally, more polygons in a frame would mean more processing power.

The city still manages to look quite appealing to say the least. There isn’t much of a performance difference between the 360 and the PS3 except that the anti-aliasing and shadows are minisculely better than the 360.

But the difference is negligent and you’ll find yourself hard pressed to notice. With Watch Dogs, the PS3 and the Xbox 360 hold a firm and equal footing, with nice textures, excellent use of bloom and decent shadows. The depth of field is toned down here but that was expected this being such an expansive game with a sprawling world. The older generation of consoles make Watch Dogs nowhere near unimpressive. It’s a slightly different story for the newer consoles and the PC.

PC users should consider waiting a while before buying the game as it seems that the developers were quite satisfied with the seemingly pre-pre-pre(historic?)-alpha version of the game. Improvements have been rolled out, yes, but they are nowhere near enough.

watch dogs

"There’s nothing worth sucking your breath over in Watch Dogs. The PC version is better but, not by much."

As a whole, the game’s visuals aren’t what were promised to us, with the console graphics being somewhat equivalent to the PC version. There’s nothing worth sucking your breath over in Watch Dogs. The PC version is better but, not by much. Even so, the game employs a good use of shadows and bloom effects in addition to commendable reflections. But the cars in the game are pathetic and everything related to them too.

This is one gripe I can’t forgive Ubisoft for. The game is still very new, but the PC launch was indeed poorly done by Ubisoft, especially since they showcased the PC version at E3 2012. A PC patch is promised and we are hopeful that it will fix all the performance issues and make it more comparable to 2012 target.

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  • PS4 FTW.

    Coming to the actual number crunching, the Xbox One manages an odd resolution of 792p, with its Sony counterpart standing not too tall at 900p. Nonetheless, the game more than makes up for the lack of low resolutions with good textures. The PS4 somehow manages to look better at times than the PC counterpart although that’s not always the case – not too far from it either- , it’s still surprising that the console manages to catch up to the aesthetic performance of an high endPC
    Ha ha. PS4 version owning both XB180 and PC. Let the butt hurt flow. PC is dying and XB1 has already died.

    • tisJoe

      You need to take a good long look at your life if you’re that big of a fanboy for the PS4. It’s just a console, dude. They’re not even paying you to suck their dicks this hard.

    • Guest

      I didn’t get that from his post?

    • You_Are_Flat_Out_Peasant

      Digital Foundry shilling for Sony this time.

      Consoles will never, ever get the true 1080P 60FPS Watch_Dogs experience. PC remains Master Race :^)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_9dMN9kJh8

    • SukaFree’s Owner

      Just do us all a favor kid and make like a tree and leave. Your stupid PC sentiment is getting old and none of us care.

    • dkn45

      “Your stupid PC sentiment”

      and your xbox sentiment is getting r3tarded, face it both next gen cosnoles are crap, the only true next gen is on pc, WHY? because consoles are sadly weak pieces of trash. X360 and ps3 were quite powerfull for their time but ps4 and xbone were weak before they even came out.

      thats all

    • GodGamerDerp

      Still asshurt that people buy consoles and enjoy gaming on them? Get help.

    • XboxSupportersHaveNoPrinciples

      Exactly..

    • You_Are_Flat_Out_Peasant

      Prerelease:

      “Look at those next gen console specifications! I don’t know what those numbers mean, but they are astronomical. It’s clearly a technology from the future that’s reserved only for consoles. Check Watch_Dogs trailer, PC ‘gamers’ must be so furious now. I can’t wait!”

      Misinformation:

      “Consoles were build specifically for gaming. No matter how good your PC is, it’s always gonna perform worse. It’s a FACT consoles are better than PCs. They are called next gen for a reason. I know what I am talking about, okay?Enjoy your antialiased spreadsheets!”

      Postrelease:

      “It has been only few months. It’s normal there aren’t any games yet. Backwards compatibility? The hardware is incompatible, it’s too advanced for those old games to run on them. I will just go watch Netflix on it.”

      Blame:

      “The developers haven’t figured out the new architecture yet. Just wait a year and you will see for yourselves. That game looks bad only because developers still bother to make games work on last generation hardware. They are slowing down the progress of gaming!”

      Denial:

      “So what PC can run it in 60Hz/1080p? It’s scientifically proven that human eye can’t tell the difference. Playing in 30 fps is still fantastic. If anything, I would prefer 24 fps for more movie like experience.”

      Anger:

      “I bought this for my hard earned money! There is no way I could make a bad purchase. Also, I recently extended my subscription for another year. I can’t just turn back now. I must do everything to make myself feel better about it.”

      Contradiction:

      “I don’t care that much about graphics, I am perfectly fine with my hardware. I am also fine with being charged more for a quality service. Developers deserve those extra 20$ for extra 4 maps and few guns they made. I am not a thief and a dirty pirate like all PC gamers are.”

      Justification:

      “There are more exclusives on consoles and I prefer gamepads over keyboard/mouse. Plus, playing on a couch is more comfortable.”

      Acknowledgment:

      “I admit, some PCs will beat consoles when it comes to graphic quality, but only because they cost ten times more than consoles just to make games look slightly better. PC gaming is too expensive, average Joe can’t afford it. ”

      Resistance:

      “It seems PCs are superior, but it doesn’t make sense. Better and cheaper? Do I look like I am easy to fool? I am far more intelligent than all of you, I know better myself. Anyways, I don’t feel comfortable building a PC and messing with anything electronic. It looks too complicated to me.”

      Acceptance:

      “I just built my own PC with a help of a friend. It’s not nearly as complicated as it looks! I also bought a Humble Bundle pack with few big AAA games for just 10$. Everything runs so smoothly! There is so much more room for other activities than just gaming. Am I in heaven?”

    • Bliss Seeker

      Haha that made for a good read lol.

    • GodGamerDerp

      LOL only a deranged, dumb fanboy would call Digital Foundry a “Sony shill” for reporting facts.

      The real “god gaming race” owns both a good PC and consoles, and they find your lies and ignorance disgraceful.

      Both PS4 and Xbox will have good exclusive games, high end PCs are best for multiplatform games if you have the time, money, and effort to build and maintain one.

      PC and PS4 are different markets with different pros and cons. PS4 has price/performance and simplicity, PCs have a higher potential performance, but generally more expensive and requires time and knowledge to buy, build, and maintain one.

      PS4 has some interesting architecture benefits over traditional split CPU/GPU split memory pool PCs, and other GPGPU customizations. PS4 is comparable to a mid range PC at 1.84TF considering the APU and GPGPU architecture benefits and low level single platform coding. For $400 you get a lot of price/performance, more than a $400 PC would get you. PS4 is better than most PCs. PS4 will have lots of good exclusives, both console only and PS4 only.

      Xbox/PC fanboys seem to be on a war on people too poor or unwilling/unable to spend time and money buying, building, and maintaining a PC. Mustard race claiming they can afford multi-thousand dollar PCs but too poor to buy a $200-400 console.

      Both PS4 and Xbox will have good exclusive games, high end PCs are best for multiplatform games if you have the time, money, and effort to build and maintain one. Only deranged fanboys keep chewing their own legs off screaming about “PS4 peasants”.

      Mustards don’t have “a point”, they just hate anyone who doesn’t have the time, money, or interest in building and maintaining a PC, and hate the fact that consoles offer a comparable gaming experience and exclusive games they can’t have. Unless they grow up and buy a console themselves, which isn’t that expensive compared to their imaginary quad SLI 4k PCs.

      Oh boy, an article full of mustard racers chewing their own legs off screaming about peasants and bad PC ports. Not sure how they can hate other people who don’t have the time, money, and/or interest in building and maintaining a gaming PC.

      I assume you pirate everything including Windows. PC master parasite more like it. Console game sales sustain the AAA industry. If it were all PC most games would be free to play or always online MMO type games that can’t be pirated, i.e. League of Legends, World of Warcraft, etc.

      High end PCs will always be a tiny market, most PC gaming is done on low end PCs playing League of Legends, WoW, or other F2P or MMOs. Console game sales sustain the AAA industry, they’ll get the majority of developer focus most of the time in multiplatform games.

    • You_Are_Flat_Out_Peasant

      It’s hilarious to see how desperate, contradictory and incoherent your copy paste jobs became as I once more prove I am always right and PC is the master race, derp.

    • GodGamerDerp

      Deranged, dumb, constantly wrong, and evil.

      Apparently PS4’s stronger hardware, ~3.5 million sales lead, large number of 1st party developers, more games, and more developer support have microsoft fanboys extremely upset.

      Stay asshurt at PS4’s success. Keep shilling and spinning while everyone else ignores you and buys more PS4s.

      It’s good to know you’re completely wrong and raging against facts and reality, and nothing you say will happen. I’m constantly right, you’re constantly wrong.

      No Sony exclusive 1st party games have been downgraded from their initial reveals. Every major Xbox One exclusive launch game was downgraded from its reveal, some minor and some major. Microsoft fanboys are desperately trying to pin anything on a PS4 exclusive.

      The real “god gaming race” owns both a good PC and consoles, and they find your lies and ignorance disgraceful.

      Both PS4 and Xbox will have good exclusive games, high end PCs are best for multiplatform games if you have the time, money, and effort to build and maintain one.

      PC and PS4 are different markets with different pros and cons. PS4 has price/performance and simplicity, PCs have a higher potential performance, but generally more expensive and requires time and knowledge to buy, build, and maintain one.

      PS4 has some interesting architecture benefits over traditional split CPU/GPU split memory pool PCs, and other GPGPU customizations. PS4 is comparable to a mid range PC at 1.84TF considering the APU and GPGPU architecture benefits and low level single platform coding. For $400 you get a lot of price/performance, more than a $400 PC would get you. PS4 is better than most PCs. PS4 will have lots of good exclusives, both console only and PS4 only.

      Xbox/PC fanboys seem to be on a war on people too poor or unwilling/unable to spend time and money buying, building, and maintaining a PC. Mustard race claiming they can afford multi-thousand dollar PCs but too poor to buy a $200-400 console.

      Both PS4 and Xbox will have good exclusive games, high end PCs are best for multiplatform games if you have the time, money, and effort to build and maintain one. Only deranged fanboys keep chewing their own legs off screaming about “PS4 peasants”.

      Mustards don’t have “a point”, they just hate anyone who doesn’t have the time, money, or interest in building and maintaining a PC, and hate the fact that consoles offer a comparable gaming experience and exclusive games they can’t have. Unless they grow up and buy a console themselves, which isn’t that expensive compared to their imaginary quad SLI 4k PCs.

      Oh boy, an article full of mustard racers chewing their own legs off screaming about peasants and bad PC ports. Not sure how they can hate other people who don’t have the time, money, and/or interest in building and maintaining a gaming PC.

      High end PCs will always be a tiny market, most PC gaming is done on low end PCs playing League of Legends, WoW, or other F2P or MMOs. Console game sales sustain the AAA industry, they’ll get the majority of developer focus most of the time in multiplatform games. Just because someone builds a $1000+ PC doesn’t mean anyone is obligated to make games for them.

      I assume you pirate everything including Windows. PC master parasite more like it. Console game sales sustain the AAA industry. If it were all PC most games would be free to play or always online MMO type games that can’t be pirated, i.e. League of Legends, World of Warcraft, etc.

      PS4 will have the graphics advantage the entire gen. PS4 hardware and software will outsell Xbox globally the entire gen. PS4 will have more dev support and more 1st party games the entire gen. Sony still has a large number of 1st party studios and they’re all working on PS4 games. PS4 will make a net profit, Sony won’t go bankrupt. I’m constantly right, as usual.

      It seems most people are ignoring attempts to downplay PS4’s stronger hardware and buying PS4s anyway.

      Keep shilling and spinning while everyone else ignores you and buys more PS4s.

      “IT’S BASICALLY THE SAME THING, NOBODY CAN TELL THE DIFFERENCE, STOP BUYING PS4S!”

      Every time another article arrives where PS4 runs better than Xbox One, all the microsoft xbox shills come crawling out hiding behind high end PCs to attack it. Transparently sad and pathetic damage control. Sorry, it’s still underpowered and overpriced and most people don’t want it.

      Clueless and deceptive PC “builds” that leave out any accessories, an optical drive, or the $90 Windows license, cute. I love how the “next gen crusher” only has 4GB DDR3 RAM, under Watch Dogs minimum recommended 6GB, a CPU that Watch Dogs will choke on, and a bargain basement $20 case and $27 PSU. That thing would die trying to run Watch Dogs, LOL.

      Let’s take the $412.86 “next gen crusher” add the $90 Windows 8 License (because we’re not pirating parasites like you), and $50 for a decent mouse and keyboard that won’t fall apart after a month. Actual price? $552.82 for a PC that doesn’t even meet the minimum Watch Dogs PC specs. Whoops.

      All you’re doing is proving you don’t know the real price of building a PC.

    • You_Are_Flat_Out_Peasant

      The more and more I spout truth. The more and more you become delusional and insane.

      PC is the master race :^)

    • I am mainly a PC gamer. I prefer PC over console in most cases. But above all else, I am a gamer. I play games. I simply don’t understand why PC Elitists feel the need to call what other people like dumb or stupid. Why can’t you just accpet people are going to like what they’re going to like. Maybe you like to troll, maybe you like the attention. Whatever it is, please just stop until you have something valid and respectful to say. PC is not the “Master Race” there is no such thing. Please comeback when you have something valid to say. Then and only then will anybody be able to have a normal conversation with you without breaking out into a huge rant. Have a nice day
      Cheers!
      P.S I ask everyone else here to do the same, be repectful and don’t rant. It would make this place much more enjoyable to inhabbit.

    • dkn45

      another horrible article by gaminbolt.

      Ps4 version= 900p high settings.

      A
      gtx 760 can achive 1080p at high settings with 40 fps, therefore if you
      get a pc that is old and on par you can still get ps4 perfomance.

      The
      game is a badly optimized port on all systems but the pc version can
      get you “next gen” ps4 let alone xbone graphics without having to spend
      alot of money

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzchdaorOY0

      This next gen is a freaking joke

      pc is dying? sorry but pc has the most exlusives and has surpassed cosnoles in revenue.

      http://www.lazygamer.net/general-news/pc-gaming-makes-more-money-than-consoles/

      Cry some more consoletard

    • GodGamerDerp

      A well specced PC outspecs a PS4.

      You’re just trolling.

  • remy nova

    PC sucks. Give us a exclusive pc game that visually blows other games out the water. Then i’ll change my tune but, that has yet to happen. Multi-platform games is not a good indicator on how powerful each system is because, multi-plats will always be developed on the weakest system, so that it may seemingly run on all plats smoothly. I.E. for now, Xbox one. The only way to tell the difference between plats, is their exclusives. For a while now, PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox one can’t hit that high note unlike, the PS3 and PS4.

    • Daniel Lawson

      this comment makes me puke… ignorance has ruined countless comment sections

    • GodGamerDerp

      No

    • spoffle

      You must be from Pretend Land. Go and look at Crysis 3 on PC at max settings and bask in the nonsense you have been talking.

  • haven’t tried it on console

    http://bestplaceforpcgames.blogspot.com/

  • shaggs138

    This is why consoles are better than PC’s an always will be. When you have defined hardware that isn’t going to change then you can develop for it much better and easier. Adding in the fact that technology changes and upgrades on the daily, then you end up having a mess and major issues on launch since what was developed for has started becoming obsolete by the time a game is sent to gold disc.

    • I honestly believe no one thing is better than the other, each has its advantages and disadvantages. Console games are generally released very solid (from companies that care, of course) and usually have less issues than pc games. PC allows for more types of games as well as easier and more open play if you know what you’re doing. PC is for people who are willing to sit down and figure some stuff out. Console is for people who just wanna play their game. Neither right or wrong. I always like to own everything :). Good PC for when the ports are solid and a console for when they’re not good or just not coming.

  • Matt Sawyer

    Did anyone edit this article at all? The grammar is a joke. One thumb way up your butt.


 

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