Update: Ubisoft has released an official statement clearing up some a of the misconceptions some of us, including yours truly, had in regards to the PC version. Thanks to GameSpot for the quote!
It has come to our attention that a comment from one of our team members has been perceived by some members of the community to imply the PC version of The Division was 'held back' and this is simply not true. From the beginning, the PC version of The Division was developed from the ground up, and we're confident players will enjoy the game and the features this version has to offer.
We all knew that this was true, but it's nice to have someone finally confirm it.
A Ubisoft developer opened up to Videogamer about console parity with The Division, saying that the graphical fidelity of the PC version has been "kept in check" to allow all versions across all platforms to look visually similar to each other. If you want to see the differences for yourself, Digital Foundry has made a nice side-by-side comparison video between the PlayStation 4 version and the PC version. I guess we now know why the PC also suffered a downgrade.
We do have to kind of keep it in check with the consoles, because it would kind of be unfair just to push it so far away from them. But it's been good having a dedicated PC build for this game. I'm really happy that we're pushing the PC build as much as we are. There's a lot more customized options and stuff than the console.The developer, who wished to remain anonymous, did stress that the PC version of The Division is not a port, but a completely separate version of the game with a slew of graphical options to tweak the game to your heart's content.
One good thing about The Division is we've always considered the PC as a separate platform. I've worked on projects before that the PC version's a port from a console so it carries that limitation over, but we've always been in the mind that we'll have a dedicated PC build, so it hasn't really held it back too much.This is a far cry (no pun intended) from some of the older PC versions of Ubisoft titles. Titles like Assassin's Creed: Black Flag and Watch_Dogs already came under fire for supposed bad optimization on PCs but it seems like Ubisoft is dedicated to not repeat history with The Division.
The Division is scheduled come out on March 8 for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
That developers were going for console parity has always been one of the industry's least secret secrets, but it's definitely refreshing to hear someone admit it. In the end it doesn't matter much to me personally. The downgrade, while most definitely noticeable, is far from the catastrophe many people make it out to be. The game is still beautiful, both on PC and on console, and in the end it's the gameplay that gives a game longevity, not graphical fidelity.