The current-generation platforms are holding back development on Xbox One and PS4, Ubisoft has said.
"Right now, all publishers are transitioning their development resources," explained Tony Key, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Ubisoft. "For a game like Assassin's Creed: Black Flag, most of the sales are still going to be on current generation platforms. We can't make a version for PlayStation 4 or Xbox One that's so wildly different that we can't market them together.
"So, for now, developers and designers are focused on making a game that works really well on all of the systems - but as we transition resources to the next gen, it's going to be more difficult to do that because the power of these machines is going to allow so much more creativity."
Keys' comments suggest that next year's Watch Dogs won't be the next-gen experience it could have been had current-gen versions not been on the slate. That said, Ubisoft remains confident Watch Dogs will be a successful long-term franchise.
"It's heartbreaking to be so coveted for launch and not be able to deliver it at launch, but from a business perspective, it's not a difficult decision to make," said Key. "Watch Dogs is designed to be a long-term brand for Ubisoft. We won't launch it until we know it's equalling the vision it can achieve. ... We're playing the long game - and as a company, we know how important it is to get it right."