Watch Dogs downgrade claims examined

Ubisoft has officially re-announced Watch Dogs with a May 2014 release date, but the biggest talking point among gaming communities is the apparent downgrade that appears to have taken place. Gamers have noticed differences between Watch Dogs 2012 Vs 2014, so now we examine this in closer detail and see whether there are any truth to the claims.

Watch Dogs is coming on May 27 2014 and is set to be one of the biggest releases of the Summer, both for current and next-gen consoles and PC of course which remains the lead platform.

Fans have been waiting for Watch Dogs for a long time after playing and completing GTA V, but we have seen that some are surprised at the differences in the game announced a few days ago, compared to the original game announcement at E3 in 2012.

We told you of rumors suggesting that PS4 will be 1080p native resolution and Xbox One 960p resolution, but that may not be your biggest fear.

Footage from the Watch Dogs 2012 trailer Vs the new trailer just released..

Watch the animation above and see the differences between the current build revealed this week and the original build. To give you further examination of the differences, we also include both trailers below so you can watch closely to see both builds one after the other.

We also have some more animations to bring you showing the original gameplay from 2012 yet again. These are truly beautiful graphics we’re seeing here worthy of a next-gen tag and certainly the level that PC gamers are expecting to see at release as well if PC is lead platform.

Look at those lighting effects!
Amazing fire effects during an intense scene – PC or next-gen surely?

We have already seen these claims discussed on social media and it looks like a lot of you have plenty to say on an apparent Watch Dogs ‘downgrade’. We include a few of your messages on Twitter here for you to have a look:

Obviously most of you are not happy about this, but we need to remind you about a few important points. As far as we’re aware, Ubisoft has not confirmed which version of the game they were showing during the latest March 6 story trailer.

So it could be the Xbox 360 and PS3 version we are seeing here, rather than next-gen or PC. There is still a good chance that the original graphics that you see in the animations above, will still make it into the PC version which we heard will be able to output at up to 4K resolution.

Either way, Ubisoft needs to come out and make it clear to the community before it gets out of hand. We’ve shown you the evidence here, so let us know what you think of the ‘downgrade’ claims.

Do you think this could actually be next-gen PS4 and Xbox One versions shown in the latest trailer – what would your reaction be if so? If you have a high-end PC, we still don’t think you have anything to worry about.

Written by Alan Ng

Alan has been working for Product-Reviews since 2009 and became the Editor-in-chief in 2014. He has a passion for technology, the latest mobile phones and gadgets, and the gaming industry. Alan is a graduate of Canterbury Christ Church University and completed a B.A in Commercial Music in 2008. While expressing a keen interest in all areas that PR cover, you'll usually find Alan in the gaming section, where he'll be keeping enthusiasts up to date on all the latest news and reviews for consoles and PC.

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Joseph Anthony BrackettSAVISwiftyEh, disappointedElem187 Recent comment authors
Joseph Anthony Brackett
Joseph Anthony Brackett

Are you people that daft and ignorant?? The comparisons aren’t even of the same scenes!! LOOK AT IT AGAIN! Even the “side-by-sides” of the characters talking AREN’T EVEN IN THE SAME PLACE/POSE!! You’re arguing there is no cast shadows on his face and it’s NOT EVEN THE SAME EXACT FRAMES OR SCENE. Two of the scenes from the car chases dont even have the same weather effects going on. One of them has washed out colors BECAUSE A GIANT-ASS POLICE SPOTLIGHT IS IMPOSING ON THE OBJECT!! Does nobody understand what “SIDE by SIDE” means??? Are you for real???? People will… Read more »

Eh, disappointed
Eh, disappointed

Atleast I can still hold out hope for the graphics in the new inFAMOUS, considering they only had one console to worry about so they knew upfront exactly what their game will be running on and only need the one build.


This game was amazing at E3, now it has put me off all Ubisoft games for good. Too many of their recent games have been mediocore.


What do I think? If the game actually looks like this on PS4, Watch_Dogs has gone from a game that was a day one purchase to a game that I will wait to see what the reviews have to say. And this scenario makes me weary of The Division and what that team will ultimately produce. Get it together Ubisoft. And fast.

Ben Dover Kuntz
Ben Dover Kuntz

i was not wow’ed the first time i did see it, even if the graphic looked good… i knew it was ubisof thar was behind it (alarm bells did go off, rigth away). so this dont come as a shock at all. anyway i dont buy on day one anymore, i now wait 6 months after release of game before i decide if i buy or not. i am forced to do it this way, because the game industry release so much broken games. that ruin the game experience and its not worth the money or my time.


Meh! What is the betting that the ‘unexplained’ delay last year was due to finding a fatal flaw in the engine and having to get the game up and running on another in-house engine (such as assassin’s creed). Game looks like ass now. From AAA title to blending in with the crowd! Oh, the irony!!


If that trailer is PS4 I’ll cancel the pre-order and possibly pick up a used copy after a while. When I first saw the trailer I was convinced it was the PS3/X360 version just from the initial looks of it.


The story trailer has to be on nect-gen. I mean why would ubisoft show us last-gen footage of the game?


Wouldn’t be surprised if it WAS “next-gen”.

We can expect these downgrades to The Witcher 3, The Division etc. The new consoles simply lack the graphical power, end of story.

Future disappointment awaits.

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