Statements by Ubisoft on the frame rate of Assassin's Creed Valhalla on the Xbox Series X are currently causing discussions about the system requirements of the game – or, depending on the perspective, about the performance of the upcoming console.
However, it is questionable whether appropriate interpretations are really appropriate and what role the PC version plays in this. The stumbling block is the following Ubisoft statement, which can be found at Eurogamer Portugal regarding the Xbox Series X (via Google Translate):
"We can currently guarantee that Assassin's Creed Valhalla will achieve at least 30 FPS."
Some websites such as VG247.com interpret that the game will run at a maximum of 30 fps (instead of 60 fps or more) in 4K. There are also corresponding comments on Twitter, partly paired with indignation:
'PLEASE BUY A $ 600 NEXT GEN CONSOLE SO YOU CAN PLAY YOUR GAMES AT A STUNNING …
* Checks notes *
3 0 F R A M E S A S E C O N D ' https://t.co/Uvbj88qCob
– Skill Up (@SkillUpYT) May 12, 2020
Is the excitement around AC Valhalla appropriate?
It is understandable that the statement "it works with at least 30 fps" does not necessarily give hope that one can count on twice as much or even more fps. However, it does not rule out that higher fps values are achieved in the finished game. In addition, this cautious statement can also be seen taking into account the release of the game, which is still about six months away.
One game, many different platforms: You have to keep in mind that Valhalla appears as a cross-gen title on different platforms with different capabilities. This makes optimization for a specific platform difficult, especially since developers have been able to work with the hardware of the Xbox Series X (and the PS5) for a comparatively manageable time.
It also has special features in the form of the fast SSD and the RAM divided into different areas, which developers have to take into account. You can read more about this in the following comparison of current PC hardware with the PlayStation 5:
more on the subject
PS5 vs. Xbox Series X vs. PC in specs comparison
Will the Xbox Series X really not do more than 30 fps? At the moment, we can only speculate about this, also because the console has not even appeared.
We would not be surprised at a maximum of 30 fps in native 4K resolution, after all Assassin's Creed is generally rather demanding (see also the section »How realistic are 60 fps in 4K on the PC?«).
Higher values such as 60 fps should be feasible at the latest if one favors high-quality 4K upscaling from lower resolutions in favor of the fps – even if that should not make everyone sufficiently happy.
How realistic are 60 fps in 4K on the PC?
Even the predecessors of Valhalla show that it can be difficult to achieve 60 fps in very high settings on the PC in 4K even with an extremely fast Geforce RTX 2080 Ti for around 1,000 euros, depending on the scene alone.
On the one hand, this will probably not be easier in a technically re-drilled Valhalla. On the other hand, new, faster PC hardware such as Nvidia's RTX-3000 GPUs or AMD's Big Navi models could appear by then.
In our view, it is certain that the combination of 60 fps and 4K resolution on the PC will only be possible with expensive high-end hardware. However, performance optimizations for the PC with a lot of different hardware are even more difficult than for the consoles.