Even though it came out some time ago, Tom Clancy’s The Division did pretty good for Ubisoft standards, gathering millions of players together for multiplayer mayhem and generating enough interest in the forthcoming sequel, which is set to drop next March. But a new report suggests that one of the versions of the game was held back at the request of an unlikely colleague -- Microsoft.
The report comes from VG247, who notes, via an anonymous source, that the publisher behind the Xbox console actually worked out a deal with Ubisoft to limit the PlayStation 4 version of The Division so that it looked on part with its edition of the game. (Do keep in mind this was before the release of the PlayStation 4 Pro and the Xbox One X, which provide more powerful hardware than their predecessors.)
According to the source, “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.”
It’s not uncommon for certain content to be held on consoles, like with PS4 exclusives pertaining to Call of Duty games and Destiny 2; but this is the first instance where we’ve heard about a publisher stepping in to “dumb down” a competitor’s version just to make theirs look just as good, if not better. Microsoft nor Ubisoft have said a word about the report, so it’s just speculation.
However, one interesting piece of proof indicates that the PS4 got the better part of the game’s development after all. A Digital Foundry comparison video that came out back in 2016 suggests that, even if this possible downgrade took place, the PS4 version still looked pretty nice compared to even the PC version. Granted, it’s just opinion as well, but you can see the video for yourself below.
More than likely, such an issue won’t affect The Division 2, since both Microsoft and Sony have been hyping the sequel like crazy. And based on what we’ve seen thus far, both versions seem to run comparatively smooth. We’ll find out for sure when the game releases on March 15, 2019 for those systems, as well as PC.