With a publisher is as prolific as Ubisoft, console manufacturers always want to act in their favor. That’s not just because Ubisoft is known for providing launch content for new consoles, but also because they arguably have their pulse on current trends in gaming.
And so, as Ubisoft’s Yves Guillemot reveals, when Sony was developing the PS4, they asked Ubisoft what they would like to see in the next-gen console. Ubisoft’s response, however, was not the typical, “better graphics” that most gamers would assume.
As it turns out, Ubisoft was more interested in the social interactions that are currently available with PC games and the mobile capacities of smart phones. Yes, graphics are still an integral part of the equation, but in today’s market that isn’t enough anymore.
Speaking with Kotaku‘s Stephen Totilo, Guillemot elaborated further on that subject:
“The other part that has been growing fast has been all the social—all the connections—the fact that you can update your content very quickly…all of those things [are things] we wanted them to bring in. We really pushed for them to make those things happen, because we think it’s the two combined that will make this generation a good generation.”
While it might not be fair to give Ubisoft all the credit in regards to the various social features and PS Vita integration that Sony announced at their PS4 event, it’s interesting to consider that Ubisoft put those ideas forward as features they deemed essential for the future of gaming. Chief among the social features Sony revealed last Wednesday was the ability to share videos on the fly and the ability interact with friends in ways that were never before possible. That was only the tip of the iceberg, though; make sure to check out our PS4 event post for more details.
Guillemot also talked a little bit about Watch_Dogs, which was revealed for the PS4 during the same event. At E3 2012, the title blew us away with amazing graphics, but its potential social features were also appealing. Speaking specifically about the graphics, and how next-gen has influenced development on the game, Guillemot had this to say:
“What we do—and for Watch Dogs we do that as well—we go first on next-gen, taking all the capacities the machines can bring and then we try to push all this as much as we can into the consoles that are now the old generation. The first step is: what those [new] consoles can do, we have to do.”
So while gamers might worry that a multiplatform game like Watch_Dogs will be less-than as a result of PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii U development, that is apparently not the case. Recently, developers have worked on the PC platform first, and then developed down from there. Now they can look at the PS4, and most likely the Xbox 720, and then alter the product to better suit the current-gen systems. And before we know it, those old systems – Wii U not included – will be a thing of the past.
Are you surprised to hear Ubisoft urged Sony to pursue mobile and social features? Do you think Watch_Dogs will be the first must-have title for the next-gen?
The PS4 is targeting a holiday 2013 release.