The Witcher 3’s next-gen update arrives in a couple of days, and while we’ve seen some shots of new versions of the game in action, CD Projekt Red wasn’t as forthcoming as it could be about the nitty-gritty details. Well, thanks to ElAnalistaDeBits’ trusty pixel counter, we now know exactly what to expect from a properly patched next-gen version of The Witcher 3, at least on PS5. A full cross-platform comparison should come later.
The good news is that the PS5 version of The Witcher 3 looks much nicer than it did on the PS4, with better lighting, reflections, and various asset improvements. Load times are also about 10 times faster. However, it comes at a heavier cost than you might think, with Ray-Tracing mode in particular offering relatively low resolution and 30fps at times. You can check out the full analysis below, provided you have about 15 minutes to spare.
After the next-gen patch, The Witcher 3 introduces two visual modes on PS5 – Ray Tracing and Quality. Ray-Tracing mode is 1440p dynamic, with average resolution not much better than 1080p (about 1188p). Ray-Tracing mode targets 30fps, but frequent 1-3fps jerky drops can occur in crowded areas like cities. However, it appears to be a smooth 30fps in the field. As for Performance mode, it’s in (very) dynamic 4K, with a resolution that’s usually around 1548p. Performance isn’t ideal in this mode either, dropping to the mid-50s, but, of course, some dropped frames are less noticeable at 60fps.
Again, there’s no denying that the next-gen version of The Witcher 3 looks even better than before, but a few visual tweaks would be welcome. Perhaps an average 30fps / 40fps option without ray tracing would allow you to push the resolution closer to actual 4K.
The Witcher 3 next-gen update will arrive on PC, Xbox Series X/S, and PS5 on December 14th. It will be accompanied by a patch for last-generation platforms, which will add content inspired by the Netflix series and other features without the visual bells and whistles.