Ubisoft Told Sony To Make PS4 More Like PCs And Phones

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot likes the PlayStation 4. Otherwise he wouldn't have showed up at Sony's big PlayStation 4 event last week, right?

He likes the PS4 in part because it's, well, a little less like a console and a little more like some of those other machines you might play games on: the computer and the phone. It's more of a connected machine, letting you capture and share video, network with friends, access the device and maybe some of its games from other devices like phones and tablets, etc. Ubisoft are fans of this kind of thing.

Look, Sony asked Ubisoft what it wanted for this new PlayStation: "Because we've been in the industry for a while, what happens generally — before creating the specs and creating the machine — the manufacturers come to us and say, 'What do you want on the next one?'" Guillemot told me right after Sony's show last week in New York City.

And Ubisoft said?

"We want social, we want all the things that exist on PC to be possible on a console. We want the mobile capacities to play short-term and to play from anywhere you want."

Note what he didn't say "better graphics".

But that's important too, Guillemot told me, when I noted the omission: "Actually, you need both, because, in our world, the fact that you can be immersed in new worlds with NPCs who can be emotional will help you to get into those worlds and be immersed."

"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."

Ubisoft has shown one PS4 game so far. That's Watch Dogs, which is coming out this Christmas, same as Sony's console. It's also coming to current-gen consoles: the PS3, the Xbox 360 and presumably the Wii U. Guillemot suggests the game will be optimised for PS4. "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."

Ubisoft isn't, say, Activision, which tends to take its time putting a lot of games out on a new platform. Ubisoft likes to put a pile of games on a new console. They did so for recent Nintendo launches like the 3DS and Wii U. They did so for the PlayStation Vita, releasing an original Assassin's Creed while most other publishers were looking at Sony's portable console like a frail tree that might not survive its first winter. I asked if Ubisoft would back the PS4 with the gusto it did this past November's Wii U. "It's in our DNA to be taking advantage of all the capacities the new consoles bring," he said, with the vagueness of a CEO whose comments can affect his company's stock price. "As there are plenty, as you could see tonight, we have lots of teams making sure they use those new functions and make the best games they can."

So we've got Watch Dogs for PS4. And presumably some more stuff. How about that Beyond Good & Evil 2 game that fans have been waiting for and that the game's creator said would have to wait until the next-gen? "I don't give comments anymore on BG&E2," Guillemot said, "because I think... the next time next time we communicate we have to have something new." Not specific to the PS4 or any other platform, he told me: "It's coming." Yep. I know some folks who are waiting.


Comments

    Well, I guess Ubisoft's relationship with PC gamers is pretty much shot-to-shit, so it makes sense he'd want consoles more like PCs.

      Even when they are shot-to-shit, they are still good. At least now they finally understand their DRM sucks and removed it completely. I actually like Uplay because of their achievement and reward system. Ezio in Master Assassin outfit reward <3

        As I recall, the Uplay application installed a plugin into your web browser that monitored your computer usage and sent this information back to Ubisoft. Apparently, this plugin was not mentioned during the Uplay installation. The problem was last year it was discovered there was a huge security hole in the plugin that could be exploited by malicious or compromised websites. To Ubisoft's credit, they quickly fixed it after reports spread around the internet, but they didn't explain why the plugin was there in the first place.

        I've seen the Uplay app continuing to run even after people exit their Ubisoft game and cause Steam to report that they are still playing that game, hours after they have left the house.

        With Ubisoft's long-standing hostility to PC gamers, questionable DRM, and their baffling occassional piracy of their own content (to provide content for their digital deluxe editions), this hardly inspires confidence.

      they rid of the crappy DRM..uplay still annoying but eh I care more about the games

      Actually it works the other way around. Their PC side will start benefiting from centralised development.

    At this stage it seems to make no sense to not have consoles just be optimized custom PCs.

    Especially with the talk of costs being high for properties. You want all systems to actually be as close as possible to each other. As much as I hate the notion of parity on consoles and PC. It's a reality. Lets hope they do enough. PC can be like the game on Very High Settings with a better control system.

    I can't imagine that Nintendo went to developers before the Wii-U and the developers said, "yeah, we want a tablet controller". I wonder where the push came from for that...

    Obviously people don't understand just how much some PC gamers hate Ubisoft and refuse to have anything to do with their products.

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