Marking yet another milestone for the killer franchise, Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag on the PlayStation 4 is the first Assassin’s Creed game to be rendered in true native 1080p. In other words, the already gorgeous game will be, well… even more gorgeous when it sets sail on the PS4.

Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag

One small caveat: players will need to download a title update (available shortly after release) to enjoy the full 1080p native resolution.

Even without the title update, the game is undeniably stunning on next-gen consoles. Indeed, as Associate Producer Sylvain Trottier suggests, some players might not even be able to tell the difference. That’s because the game, as shipped, is being rendered on next-gen at a resolution that’s very close to 1080p (900p, if you’re curious), and the upscaling process barely adjusts the image.

“If it’s running at 720p vs 1080p, you’re going to notice the difference, by far,” Trottier explains. “But if it’s set at a resolution that’s very close, where most of the pixels are already there in internal processing, most people won’t see any difference.” Those who can spot the differences might note that the game would be, in some very subtle ways, slightly less crisp but a tiny bit smoother.

But why ship at 900p in the first place? To meet an essential goal: deliver a visually brilliant game at a steady 30 frames per second (the industry gold standard for open-world games). Finishing the game at 900p gave the development team the extra room in terms of the GPU and CPU usage to ensure the framerate never dips below 30 frames per second. The team then used the time between the ship date and the release to focus on a title update that could deliver native 1080p resolution on the PS4.

But they didn’t stop there.

Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag

“The most important part of this title update is not necessarily 1080p native resolution,” Trottier smiles. “It’s the fact that even when we were done with the project, even when we were finished with the certification and everything else, even when most of the engineers had started to work on other projects – like we always do at Ubisoft – some of my engineers continued to work on Black Flag and they even developed a brand-new anti-aliasing technique.” (Anti-aliasing is a technique used to diminish the occasional appearance of jagged edges in computer-generated graphics.)

Indeed, along with the full 1080p native resolution, the visuals have been improved even further, simply because the engineers knew that with the additional time they could do even more. So they did. And now, not only will you see every single miniscule pixel in glorious 1080p native resolution on the PS4 – exactly as the artists rendered it – but you’ll also see an even cleaner, clearer and more brilliant moving image than anyone even imagined. (Pay special attention to finer details like the ropes on the ships if you want to get an eyeful of what we’re talking about.) And the best news for gamers on the latest next-gen systems? This anti-aliasing technique will be available for both PS4 and Xbox One.

Set sail on next-gen with even more Black Flag features:

Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag – Remote Play

Making Progress in Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag

Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag Review Roundup

Assassin's Creed 4 Black Flag

Assassin's Creed® IV Black Flag

Release date — October 29, 2013
Developer — Ubisoft Montreal
Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag tells the story of Edward Kenway, a young British man with a thirst for danger and adventure, who falls from privateering for the Royal Navy into piracy as the war between the major Empires comes to an end. Edward is a fierce pirate and seasoned fighter who soon finds himself embroiled in the ancient war between Assassins and Templars. Set at the dawn of the 18th Century, the game features some of the most infamous pirates in history, such as Blackbeard and Charles Vane, and takes players on a journey throughout the West Indies during a turbulent and violent period of time later to become known as the Golden Age of Pirates.

ESRB Rating: MATURE with Blood, Sexual Themes, Violence, Strong Language, Use of Alcohol
the author

Gary Steinman has won numerous editorial awards, but you probably don’t care about that. He also ran multiple industry leading publications and websites including PlayStation: The Official Magazine, GamesRadar.com, PC Gamer and Newtype USA – but that’s all in the past. The real truth about Gary? He loves cats, he takes too many selfies on Facebook (according to one co-worker, at least), and he occasionally crochets. And now he’s helping share stories about Ubisoft’s amazing games and their incredible creators in his role overseeing the UbiBlog and other select Ubisoft social channels. Follow him on Twitter: @GarySteinman

74 Readers Commented

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  1. davide on November 15, 2013
    For XBOXONE too the resolution can be 1080P? And i see the XBOX360 versione is better than PS3 version.
    • Lanbreaker on November 15, 2013
      It's true 1080p on PS4, and likely 900p on Xbox One.
    • Xbone is dead on November 16, 2013
      dude xbone is finished. weak HW and no game since Halo franchise is dead after Bungie. Xbone version was rumoured to be running at 720p only like COD,BF4 and so on . sucks isnt it
      • Opinion on November 17, 2013
        If you read the article you will see that in fact both will have 900p at launch. The PS4 will have 1080p after you apply the day one patch. You know that if you feel the need to through with dirt at the concurrency it only shows your insecurity. You practically beg for everyone's approval that you made the right decision. Talk to a Psychologist it will help you and make you feel better with yourself.
        • Opinion on November 17, 2013
          It's "throw" not "through". Sorry about the mistake, I'm not a native English speaker.
  2. Klee on November 15, 2013
    What is the resolution on the Xbox One?
    • Klee on November 15, 2013
      I should say parity should be a given on a game like this and without it no buy.
  3. Jake on November 15, 2013
    Whats the res on the Bone? Want to know which I should buy.
  4. Bruno on November 15, 2013
    Xbox one = 720p~900p same as COD and BF4
    • Klee on November 15, 2013
      Yea that will be a no buy then. Not going to reward developers for not achieving parity.
      • Chris on November 15, 2013
        Hard to blame the developers when it was Microsoft who made the poor design choices. Why should Playstation fans suffer because the Xbone has weaker hardware?
        • Klee on November 15, 2013
          Who said anything about making anyone suffer. The issue is the fact that it can more than perform at 1080p so why not push it especially so on a last gen engine. Know of at least 8 games off the top of my head that will be 1080p at launch. Sounds pretty lame u can find the time to push one and not the other. Sorry do not buy and will not support the title for it.
          • Derp on November 15, 2013
            Do you not understand the difference between hardware and software?The Xbone does not have the GPU power necessary to render AC4 at 1080p30. Can't do it. C'est ne pas possible. The PS4 does. Ergo, they shipped the patch for them.
          • Lanbreaker on November 15, 2013
            You lack logic and common sense don't you? It's not Ubisoft's fault that Xbox One is a weak machine, and inferior to the PS4. Achieving parity with the PS4 is impossible, because it's just a fact that the Xbox One is too weak.Obviously the Xbox One has trouble rendering in full 1080p. Almost every action or adventure game on Xbox One is 720p-900p; the only 1080p games are racing games and sports games, which are graphically less intensive to render (thus, easier to achieve 1080p).Ryse = 900p Assassin's Creed IV = 900p-720p Dead Rising 3 = 720p Battlefield 4 = 720p Call of Duty: Ghosts = 720p Titanfall = 720p (rumored)Don't buy an Xbox One if you want true 1080p games, because 1080p will be extremely rare on such weak hardware.
          • Harrrkk on November 19, 2013
            Xbox One has a weaker GPU, less available CPU, less available memory bandwidth. For the same amount of effort put into both consoles, the PS4 will always have greater performance. Either the PS4 has to be held back to achieve parity, or it will not be achieved.
      • Necro on November 15, 2013
        What a second. Because your machine was gimped, you want every one else who got the PS4 to suffer? What is wrong with you. So the PS4 version needs to be gimped because your version is inferior and you dont like it? LOLOLOL The nerve of some people
        • Klee on November 15, 2013
          No one once said hold the Ps4 back. I did not say that once. Nor do I buy the idea they cannot reach 1080p with this game and old engine on the x1. There are at least 8 games at launch that WILL be 1080p. Yet they found the time to get the PS4 up their even though it was 900p.No thanks. Will not buy.It's ok though. I skipped AC III for good reason even though I bought all the rest before that.Skipping this will not be an issue.
          • Gabriel_ca on November 24, 2013
            You obviously aren't a developer. I am. The xbox one is the weaker system, some games will be able to do 1080p on the xbox, other games that really push the boundaries are going to hit a wall sooner on the xbox over the ps4. That simple. Then the decision is, do we spend resources optimizing for one system (which may not even be possible because our code is already pretty tight), or spend resources on content for both systems. The decision that makes the most sense is content, it's the most important part of the game, and it affects the most people.
        • ColdKill on November 24, 2013
          That's what happens to PC all the time, nothing that awkward...
      • themugen on November 15, 2013
        You have difficulty having fun, don't you? The game on either console is going to look and play great. But you're not going to reward the developers for not achieving parity? Like your lack of purchase hurts them. You're the one missing out.
        • STi on November 19, 2013
          Well said themugen
  5. Anonymous on November 15, 2013
    What about PC?
  6. Will Dearborn on November 15, 2013
    What constitutes "shortly after release". Is the patch already available or...?
  7. EA on November 15, 2013
    And what about us on PC? Do we get this anti-aliasing update too?
    • Preacher on November 15, 2013
      PC should be fine, as they can implement MSAA/SSAA just fine on the more powerful GPUs. The "developed a brand-new AA technique" gives away that they're using a shader-based effect (FXAA) on the consoles, and tuned it to cause less edge blurring.TL;DR - Want the graphically best looking version of AC4? Buy PC. Only have consoles? Buy PS4.
      • Gavin on November 15, 2013
        The AA technique is probably something similar to TXAA not FXAA. Consoles have been using FXAA for years so that's nothing new. They especially mentioned ropes of the ships which indicates TXAA. I highly doubt it's full on TXAA like on PC but something less intensive but creates the same effect.
        • Guest on November 17, 2013
          AC4 with SMAA anti-aliasing will blow our minds! XD
        • Makesi on December 17, 2013
          My Sentiments Exactly
  8. Jt on November 15, 2013
    So when is this patch being released? I would hope the next few days at the latest.
  9. Sean on November 15, 2013
    What is the X1 resolution?
  10. Jim on November 15, 2013
    When will this patch be available? Stop being so lazy, Ubisoft!
  11. Sam on November 15, 2013
    Why so coy about the Xbox One resolution?
  12. Dan on November 15, 2013
    Ps3 game put on ps4 with a small graphics increase is struggling to keep 30fps???
    • roenick on November 15, 2013
      but on PS3 it is 720p :) and with less effects and without FSAA
  13. Monet on November 15, 2013
    Pathetic. Can´t wait until Watchdogs is supposed to release. I wonder what kind of shit you idiots come up with then.
  14. Preacher on November 15, 2013
    Normally I don't like "day one patches" but this one is justified. Good show on keeping a full sprint right up to the finish line, chaps.
    • Monet on November 15, 2013
      Day one Patch...sure. Keep on dreaming bud.
  15. John on November 15, 2013
    THANK YOU FOR NOT CHOOSING PARITY!!! ALWAYS USE THE HARDWARE TO IT'S FULLEST POTENTIAL!!! LOVE PLAYSTATION. INSTANT BUY!!!
  16. dickbutt on November 15, 2013
    Wow, GG consoles. Maybe after another 10 years of outdated crap hardware they'll finally be able to run 1080p next gen.
  17. james on November 15, 2013
    You people that say the xbox one isnt capable of running this game at 1080p are idiots. You have no clue what you are talking about
    • William Blake on November 15, 2013
      Show me the light then.
  18. Chad on November 15, 2013
    I have no idea what the people above are talking about. I mean who cares?
  19. Guest on November 15, 2013
    This doesn't make sense, design head Tim Browne had already confirmed the PS4 and X1 versions would run at 60 fps:http://www.psu.com/a020967/PS4-Xbox-One-Assassins-Creed-IV-is-60fps-at-a-much-higher-resolution-than-current-gen?page=2Did something happen or was he only referring to the multi-player?
  20. globalisateur on November 15, 2013
    Tell us more about your new Anti-aliasing techniques!Break the news with that!
  21. Modified Soul on November 15, 2013
    Wonder if they are at all working to make an XB1 patch, if not I may have to skip this game till I get my PS4 next year
  22. Paul on November 16, 2013
    Since when is 1080p 30fps the 'Gold Standard'? I've got an XB1 on preorder, but not fanatical or a fanboy. The Difference between 900p and 1080p is pretty negligible - what people should be concerned about is that both versions only run at 30fps. Sorry, but that is not what I expect from a next gen game, on either platform. I know that this is not the only culprit, but I have to say that I am pretty underwhelmed by a good deal of the launch titles on both machines.
  23. Tom on November 16, 2013
    It doesn't make sense!!!!!!!!!1 you guys already confirmed it runs at 60fps!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  24. Juz mooe on November 16, 2013
    Anyone who is arguing for a parity should blow their brains out. No way will my games get gimped because the Xbox is too weak. F that, bring me the best quality. I pay $60 for your stupid games, at least give me good quality.
  25. Guest on November 17, 2013
    Please allow us to remove the blowpipe. :(
  26. Juan Castro on November 18, 2013
    Single player minigame unplayable without internet, passing on this entry, and from what the Ubisoft trend is showing, giving up on them altogether as all next gen games are going to have this. Doesn't matter how good it looks, being unable to play without a connection is unacceptable.
  27. Jerry G on November 18, 2013
    PS4 version is supposed to be superior, but fails miserably when it comes to gameplay and arcane policies. I dislike leaving my console connected all the time because of a possible firmware update bricking it. i suck it up and leave it connected to play the fleet mini game and guess what, not once was I able to connect to anything. Just patch the game already and make the game offline already. I'll try it one more time and if this keeps up, Gamestop will be getting my copy to sell as used.
  28. DeafAtheist on November 18, 2013
    Wow, fanboys bitching about graphics. What else is new? I'll have you know I already completed the game on 360 and it's an incredible game... Best game in the series since AC2. If you're skipping it over mild graphic issues that are barely noticable you're an idiot. Graphics < gameplay.
  29. yarast tapata on November 19, 2013
    В игре сделаны охуенные морские бои, придумана отличная абордажная система, сделалан упор на то, что грабь, ебашь, наливай - ты пират! В компании охуенийших пиратов того времени. И ты только погружаешься в эту игру. Только начинаешь там со всеми знакомится, проникаться этой атмосферой свободы, пьянства и разврата, как сходу это все вдруг обрезается. И по сути вся интересная пиратская жизнь заявленная в игре отсутствует. 80% игры минимум должно было быть в этом ключе. Типа ебашь налевай. Кучу миссий должно быть сделано - ограбь, напади, выеби, своруй. Отразите атаку английского флота, нападите на какого-то хуя плывущего с армадой кораблей и.т.д. Там только фантазию и логику врубить. И интересно же было бы! И только сценаристы могли запороть все технические наработки и сделать из конфетки полнейшее говно. Это же надо было попереубивать всех пиратов, толком которые ничего и натворить то не успели. Просто вырезать изначальную идею на корню... И дальше стоит выбор: пиздуй к ассасинам или плавай по морю. Нахуй мне эти ассасины вообще сдались? А когда приплываешь к ним, начинаются всякие ебланские задания и ты весь блядь такой няшный и хороший, что хочется облевать пол палубы заняв команду корабля хоть одним интересным делом из оставшейся части игры. Короче сценаристы запороли такую охуенную игру. Их не то, что поувольнять надо - их расстрелять мало. Их семьи с маленькими детьми нужно повесить на улицах больших городов, чтоб вороны клевали им глаза, а их тела медленно разлагались под утренними лучами солнца. И тогда больше не одна мудила физически не посмеет написать подобной хуйни. А на счет абордажа. Бля, ну классно же придумано: убей офицеров, убей лазутчиков, убей там нужное количество людей. Взорви порох- хуй с ним, тоже ничего(ну типа стрелять им нечем будет(хотя тоже маразм)), но блядь сруби флаг? Это пиздец! СРУБИ ФЛАГ?!! Ты переебашил каждую живую крысу на корабле и не можешь захватить и элементарно вынести награбленное из-за того, что тебе нужно кусок тряпки срубить с верхней мачты? Это пиздец, как должно быть весело лезть туда, на самый верх мачты, пока твоя команда получает пизды внизу? И ещё, захват форта, неужели блять так тяжело сделать там какую то точку, как только ты на неё становишься, то команда из твоего корабля выбегает и бежит сражаться. Нет, же блядь, ты туда залазишь и хуй пойми какие-то люди там во всю уже сражаются и не одного из команды в итоге ты не теряешь. Ну не ужели так тяжело доработать. Потерял ты в бою 10 человек к примеру, но и в награду из живых забрал 15 и отлично же было бы.
  30. markay on November 19, 2013
    do the game right the first time around and stop forcing people to connect to get their full game.
  31. Gary Steinman | Communications Manager Author on November 19, 2013
    The Title Update is now live.
    • soulmanim3 on November 20, 2013
      My connected PS4 says it is only patched to 1.02 and it won't recognize or download 1.03. Those who have the issue: Ensure your saves are in the cloud, delete the game from the PS4 HD, eject the disc, power down the system, re-insert the disc and allow it to fully install, start the game. The game will say that AC4 has been added to downloads. The patch will now download. Don't forget to fully close AC4 so the patch can install.
      • Ben on November 20, 2013
        I did exactly what you said and I'm still on 1.02 ... :(
  32. crapgamer on November 19, 2013
    So both the Xbox One and PS4 versions ship at 900p native. Since it's only 30fps I assume the Xbox One version will get an upscale patch as well down the line. What I'm taking from some of these resolution patches is that developers really rushed these next gen games. I don't care about resolution at the end of the day. All versions look pretty good to me, and it's the same game across every console.
  33. Jacob bakun on November 19, 2013
    I didn't even know there was a 1080 or 720p until very very recently, that's how much I know about technology and how little I care.
  34. AngryCustomer on November 19, 2013
    This update reset all of my MP progress! Is there going to be a fix? This hasn't even been addressed yet!
    • Gary Steinman | Communications Manager Author on November 19, 2013
      We're sorry to hear that. Please try visiting our support site and filing a ticket to see what they can do to help: https://support.ubi.com/en-us/
  35. Ronald on November 19, 2013
    "Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag on the PlayStation 4 is the first Assassin’s Creed game to be rendered in true native 1080p"Assassin's Creed games have been at 1080p, 1200p, 1440p, 1600p, etc. on the PC for years. Also, while the PS4 will run AC IV at 1080p and 30 fps, that doesn't compare very well with the 1440p/60 fps a decent PC runs without breaking a sweat.
    • ColdKill on November 24, 2013
      So true. Two possibilities: 1. This blog entry is a lie and AC4 on PS4 is not the first 1080p title. 2. They've been lying all the time and AC never ran at 1080p on PCs, only upscaled ;)
      • Philippe Symons on January 9, 2014
        Except it did run at 1080p on pc. You could easily see that. (if something isn't running at the native resolution of the monitor the screen is all blurry) Maybe there's something wrong with your settings?
    • globalisateur on November 27, 2013
      Sure, if you have a Titan card.The PS4 and X1 never drops under 30fps. While on PC you are used to variable framerate. But if ou really never want to drop under 60fps...For instance need for speed rivals is locked 30fps on consoles. You will need at least a radeon HD7950 or Geforce 660 to never drop a frame at locked 60fps on PC. And this game is gimped on PS4 to reach parity with the X1 version on consoles.AC games aren't not optimised for PC anyway.
  36. Marvin Gaylord on November 20, 2013
    All MP stats lost after patch, this is why I hate this whole online non-sense. Why rush a game and force people to connect to get full content? Like others have said, get it right the first time. And for heavens sake, make everything playable offline.
  37. neo on November 22, 2013
    over all the game is brilliant, one small problem is the new fighting system that was introduced in assassins creed 3 feels more like you are simply killing the enemies rather than fighting them like in previous games. please bring back the old system.
    • sas1980 on November 25, 2013
      Yae true
  38. Robert on November 26, 2013
    So, 1080p, finally. At least on Sonys console. But still at 30FPS. When I recall correctly Dead Rising 3, still current gen graphics (720p, 30FPS) like CoD, BF4. Why a new piece of hardware, then? Right, the amazing TV content MS' Xbox 1. Seems it will take this new generation to get every game on 1080p and the whole next generation to get to 60FPS if 60FPS at all. Yet, I'm very disappointed with the "new" generation.
  39. KEVIN09 on December 10, 2013
    XBONE SUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  40. Neil on December 11, 2013
    I bought this yesterday as a digital download for the xbox and played the game for 20 seconds. Soon realised that there is no option for southpaw (left handed) controller settings. All previous AC games have supported this controller layout. Because I downloaded the digital version xbox are not providing me with a refund for what is essentially a £50 piece of software that is essentially useless to me.Ubi fix your game.
  41. Maharshi on December 15, 2013
    Hey I stop after 16% what to do please reply?
  42. xbox1 reviews on January 14, 2014
    We have examine several excellent products in this article. Undoubtedly value book-marking regarding revisiting. I astonish precisely how much attempt you placed to make the kind of wonderful educational website.
  43. Blablabla on January 26, 2014
    "A game normally runs at 30 FPS" Bitch please, Super Mario Sunshine runs at 20-25 FPS and is smooth.

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