CD Projekt RED finally explains the reasons behind the VGX trailer and the final version of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. CD Projekt admits that the consoles held back the PC version.
As Marcin Iwinski, co-founder of Projekt RED told Eurogamer:
“If the consoles are not involved there is no Witcher 3 as it is. We can lay it out that simply. We just cannot afford it, because consoles allow us to go higher in terms of the possible or achievable sales; have a higher budget for the game, and invest it all into developing this huge, gigantic world.”
Marcin explains that a PC exclusive development environment would have resulted in a better looking game for sure, but still a game without the scope or size of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
Both Adam Badowski and Marcin Iwinski admit that the reason that the visuals were changed since the VGX build was as explained recently by VFX artist Jose Teixeira, that could not work in an open world title.
Badowski continues to explain that the new rendering system could be the cause for some of the graphical differences:
“Maybe it was our bad decision to change the rendering system, because the rendering system after VGX was changed. There were two possible rendering systems but one won out because it looked nicer across the whole world, in daytime and at night. The other would have required lots of dynamic lighting “and with such a huge world simply didn’t work.”
The amazing smoke effects present in VGX build would kill any PC system, and Badowski says that without DX12 these effects couldn't work as good in every game.
Marcin Iwinski concludes:
“Maybe we shouldn’t have shown that [trailer], I don’t know, but we didn’t know that it wasn’t going to work, so it’s not a lie or a bad will – that’s why we didn’t comment actively. We don’t agree there is a downgrade but it’s our opinion, and gamers’ feeling can be different. If they made their purchasing decision based on the 2013 materials, I’m deeply sorry for that, and we are discussing how we can make it up to them because that’s not fair.”
A new patch will be coming for the PC version of The Witcher 3, which is said to improve the game's visuals, but since as was already mentioned some of the graphical features and effects present in the VGX trailer are not possible with DX11m don't expect any spectacular improvements.
There's a way of improving the grass quality in The Witcher 3, as well as improving performance by making a few adjustments in the ini files. There's also a workaround on how to run HairWorks on AMD GPUs without crippling performance, which enables AMD GPU users to enjoy The Witcher 3 with the HairWorks setting enabled and actually getting better performance than GeForce users not using a Maxwell architecture Nvidia GPU.
We have recently provided some beautiful 4K screenshots of the PC version of the game as well as some 4K gameplay footage that showcases the beautiful graphics that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt can provide at Ultra High-Definition at it Ultra Settings.
While many have argued that the game has lost some of its visual flair since the 2013 reveal trailer, CD Projekt RED claims that they have not changed the textures, and that they have only toned down as sharpening filter that was causing eye strain. The higher resolution can replicate the sharpening effect to some extend so it does indeed seem quite similar. Certain changes have been made of course to accommodate the console hardware, but the game turned out looking quite good indeed. We have also provided some amazing 4K Ultra settings footage of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, which can be viewed here.
CD Projekt RED removed the “PS4 vs PC” comparison video, posted earlier by PCGamesHardware and went on to detail the differences between the two versions. They claimed that the PC build was not final and that the PS4 version dis not use the day-one patch which not only fixed the PS4 framerate issue but also implemented a few visual enhancements.
PlayStation Access has provided an in-depth look into many aspects of the game in a 46 minutes video which can be viewed here. It covers everything that fans have been asking for and provides answers to most questions without spoiling the experience.
A few gorgeous screenshots from the PS4 version have also been made available, and they reveal some quite beautiful vistas and the amazing lighting system.
The launch cinematic which was made available yesterday looks amazing. CD Projekt has also revealed the changelog for the day-1 patch which can be viewed here. docm77, has also made available a video interview with CD Projekt's visual artist, Jose Teixeira, in which he shares his thoughts on the downgrade subject.
The Witcher 3 is available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. We will bring you any new information on The Witcher 3 as soon as it becomes available. Be sure to check out our previous coverage for more information on The Witcher 3, here and here.