Watch Dogs Raises The Bar... Of Gaming System Specs

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅09.10.2013 18:39:51

Following an aborted update earlier this month on the UPlay store Ubisoft's Action Adventure/RPG Watch Dogs is looking to justify its next-gen billing with some next-gen system specs.

Perhaps reflecting the final round of pre-beta testing for their new game, the minimum system specs have been boosted considerably. Previously (before being taken down) a modest Intel Core2Quad Q6600 was needed, a now much more powerful Q8400 is the order of the day, which on the AMD side corresponds to a Athlon Phenom II X4 920. A 1GB VRAM GPU is also required, perhaps putting paid to more frugal owners still eking out a good experience on a 512MB Fermi or HD5000-series card. But the most significant requirement line could be that which demands 6GB RAM.

Watch Dogs Minimum and Recommended System Specs


Supported OS: Windows Vista SP2 64bit, Windows 7 SP1 64bit, Windows 8 64bit
Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 @ 2.66Ghz or AMD Phenom II X4 940 @ 3.0Ghz
Video Card: 1024 VRAM DirectX 11 with Shader Model 5.0 (see supported list)
Sound Card: DirectX 9 compatible Sound Card
This product supports 64-bit operating systems ONLY


Processor: Core i7 3770 @ 3.5Ghz or AMD FX-8350 @ 4.0Ghz
Video Card: 2048 VRAM DirectX 11 with Shader Model 5.0 or higher (see supported list)
Sound Card: Surround Sound 5.1 capable sound card
Supported Video Cards at Time of Release:
nVidia GeForce GTX460 or better, GT500, GT600, GT700 series;
AMD Radeon HD5850 or better, HD6000, HD7000, R7 and R9 series
Intel® Iris™ Pro HD 5200

In terms of graphics most discrete desktop gaming cards bought in the last three years will meet the requirements, with only certain <1GB outliers like the 768GB NVIDIA GTX 460 or 512MB AMD HD6770 likely to trip anyone up. Laptop configurations are likely to cause much more of a problem as the specs vary much more wildly and are often difficult to dig into.

Both the next-generation consoles have 8GB RAM, DDR3 and GDDR5 for the XBOX ONE and PS4 respectively. It's no wonder therefore that the PC requirements, with higher resolution textures and more complex game states now the norm, would escalate accordingly. The corners cut to get the game to operate on older consoles must have been significant.

In order to address >4GB system memory Watch Dogs now also requires a 64bit OS, beginning from Windows Vista right through to Windows 8.1. At present we would recommend Windows 7, but your mileage may vary. Unfortunately once again older systems which have made do for years with Windows XP, even a 64-bit variant, will need to upgrade in order to play.

The majority of gaming systems should now have at least 8GB RAM, and this may well be the final push for those who can afford it to improve their system accordingly. It's likely that titles released in Q1 2014 will have similar requirements. Unfortunately when it comes to genuinely cheap DDR3 RAM the ship sailed last year; dual-channel DDR3 8GB kits are likely to set you back well over £50 when last year they were almost being given away.

The specs are silent on whether a quad-core CPU specifically is required or merely recommended, but this could have a major impact on a wide number of gaming laptops with high-spec dual-core CPUs sold recently. Equally some AMD Bulldozer-based CPUs and APUs, although billed as quad-core, may suffer due to insufficient processing grunt depending on how well the game is optimised for a wide range of systems.

It's likely that retailers will need to prepare for a fresh round of component orders this holiday season, and many potential players will be debating the equation of a £500 PC upgrade or next-generation console.

Watch Dogs is due for release on PC, PS3, XBOX 360 and XBOX ONE on the 22nd of November, with PS4 following a week later.

Source: Ubisoft Uplay Store

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