It seems Microsoft struck a deal with Ubisoft so that 2016’s ‘The Division’ didn’t not look better on PS4 compared to the Xbox One version even though the Sony console was clearly capable.
In an interesting article by VG247 talking about video game downgrades, a topic we ourselves chose to discuss a few days ago, they claim a source familiar with triple-A game development inside Ubisoft has stated that the French company chose to scale back ‘The Division’ on PS4. Apparently Ubisoft wanted to “prevent issues” with Microsoft and similar decision were enforced from higher up. According to the source the PS4 version was capable of running at a higher resolution, better frame rate and use better quality assets.
[Occasionally], the level of parity in the game needs to be identical, therefore you reduce quality to ensure that everything looks of equal quality,
On The Division, Xbox had a deal with Ubisoft, and part of that deal was to ensure that the PS4 version did not look better than it. The resolution, frame rates, and density of assets could have been higher on PS4, but this was vetoed to prevent issues with Microsoft.
I still remember when Tom Clancy’s The Divison came out and we were trying to make graphic comparisons, both versions were very similar, guess that parity wasn’t a coincidence.
DF’s graphical analysis found a similar conclusion claiming both versions having “minor differences” in graphics with the PS4 version looking slightly better. Both versions ran at a solid 30FPS most of the time. In terms of resolution the PS4 ran at a constant 1080p while the Xbox One used a dynamic resolution, going up to 1080p but dropping down to 1792×1008 and 1728×972 in big areas.
PS4 offers up a touch more refinement with a locked 1080p resolution and stable frame-rates across all scenes, however, the Xbox One version is practically identical where it counts, and the visual differences are small enough to pass by unseen,
Performance issues appear to be limited to occasional scenes, and overall both consoles provide solid, smooth gameplay.
Ironically in an update back in April this year, the game was given the ‘Xbox One X Enhanced’ treatment which made it run at native 4K on the Xbox One X with better assets. The PS4 Pro on the other hand used a dynamic resolution running in the range of 1800-1700p.
The Division released for the PS4, Xbox One and PC back in March of 2016. The game’s sequel, The Division 2, releases on March 15, 2019 for the same aforementioned consoles.
What do you think of this controversy? Will The Division 2’s PS4 version face a similar consequence?
Let us know what you think in the comments.