Watch Dogs Legion devs aim to push next-gen consoles to their limits

Watch Dogs Legion could be a next-gen console launch game, complete with tons of hardware optimizations.

3 minutes & 24 seconds read time

Watch Dogs Legion just got delayed to coincide with next-gen consoles, and the devs will use the extra time to push the PS5 and Project Scarlett systems to their limits.

Watch Dogs Legion devs aim to push next-gen consoles to their limits 1

Watch Dogs Legion is massively ambitious. The game effectively lets you play as anyone in the entire game, transforming every NPC from a non-player character into a now-playable character. The entire world is your playground and everyone in the Orwellian London setting can join your party, complete with hugely dynamic AI, an interactive and shifting world, and robust RPG mechanics. It's a huge undertaking that requires lots of power.

Luckily the devs at Ubisoft Toronto will get plenty of power. Watch Dogs Legion is now set to launch between Ubisoft's Q2 and Q3 of FY2021, which cements it firmly in next-gen console territory. Ubisoft already confirmed Legion would be optimized for the Zen 2 and Navi GPU-powered PlayStation 5 and 4K 120FPS-ready Project Scarlett systems.

Watch Dogs Legion devs aim to push next-gen consoles to their limits 2Watch Dogs Legion devs aim to push next-gen consoles to their limits 8

Now Ubisoft Toronto says the delay will ensure Legion is the best it can get:

"Our ambition with Watch Dogs: Legion is to deliver an unforgettable experience that changes the way you play and think about open world games.

"We are embracing the opportunity to take additional time to deliver this ambitious vision at the best possible level of quality and bring our near-future London to life in the way it deserves. We are confident this will ensure Legion is the immersive and innovative experience we set out to create, and the one you aspire to play."

Given what we've seen on Watch Dogs Legion, I'd say Ubisoft will benefit tremendously from the delay. Not only will they get to continue experimenting with higher-end console hardware and ray tracing tech, they'll get to be among the first to use the massively power boost for such a dynamic open-world, AI-driven game. This will be hugely influential as it gears up for its new Viking-based Assassin's Creed game.

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Even if Legion is optimized on next-gen consoles, it doesn't mean the game will suffer on current-gen hardware.

The publisher will ensure the game runs smoothly on existing PS4, PS4 Pro, Xbox One S, and Xbox One X hardware. But it'll of course comparitively play best on next-gen consoles, similar to how all games typically run better on PC.

Project Scarlett is due out by Holiday 2020. No pricing was announced. Sony's PlayStation 5 is due out December 2020.

Check below for more info on next-gen consoles.

Project Scarlett confirmed details:

  • Zen 2 CPU
  • Navi GPU
  • 4x as powerful as the Xbox One X's 6TFLOPs of perf
  • Super-fast SSD that can be used as VRAM (likely PCIe 4.0)
  • Supports 8K resolution (likely media playback)
  • 120FPS gaming
  • Can deliver up to 40x more performance than Xbox One in specific use cases
  • Raytracing confirmed
  • Backward compatible with Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One games
  • Compatible with Xbox One accessories

Sony is expected to reveal the PS5 in a special event in February 2020. The console will release in Holiday 2020, and sources tell TweakTown the PS5 will launch sometime in December 2020.

Check below for more info:

PlayStation 5 specs and details:

  • Custom SoC with second-gen Navi GPU, Zen 2 8-core, 16 thread CPU
  • Navi, Zen SoC uses new AMD RDNA 2.0 architecture
  • Sources: December 2020 release date
  • Ultra-fast SSD (likely via PCIe 4.0)
  • Support for 4K 120 Hz TVs
  • Ray-tracing enabled
  • 8K graphics support (probably video, not gaming)
  • Plays all PS4 games
  • Separate games that ship on BD-XL Blu-ray discs
  • New controller with extensive haptic and tactile feedback
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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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