The Witcher 3 Uses Checkerboard Rendering On PS4 Pro; Super-Sampling Confirmed On 1080p Displays

Francesco De Meo
The Witcher 3

Just yesterday, The Witcher 3 received a new update on PlayStation 4, which added PlayStation 4 Pro support to the game. A few hours ago, some details on how the game is improved on the new Sony console have emerged online.

Digital Foundry started taking a good look at The Witcher 3 on PlayStation 4 Pro, confirming that it uses checkerboard rendering to boost the game's native 1080p presentation.

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We've only just started to look at the upgraded version of the title, but it's pretty clear from the outset that CD Projekt RED is using checkerboard rendering to boost the presentation of the game from its native 1080p on base hardware. This technique effectively sees the developer render a 1920x2160 framebuffer in a checkerboard configuration, typically filling in the gaps using information from prior frames.

While the game has generally been improved, it seems like some things have regressed, like ambient occlusion. Performance also seems to be not the best in the most challenging areas.

It's early days with our testing so far, but some changes and improvements are in play. Texture filtering is improved, though the base assets - including art quality - look to be the same as the game running on the standard PlayStation 4. Curiously though, ambient occlusion looks as though it's pared back in some of the scenes we tested - something we intend to investigate in further depth. Initial tests also suggest that some of The Witcher 3's most challenging areas - such as Crookback Bog - actually run slower than base hardware, which in turn was a touch slower than the Pro running the old code under boost mode.

Those pairing the PS4 Pro with a 1080p display are also seeing benefits, as the game uses full super-sampling.

Finally, rounding off this very early look at the patch 1.51, the good news is that we can confirm that full super-sampling is in effect for PlayStation 4 Pro users with 1080p displays, meaning pristine-looking anti-aliasing, while the enhanced texture filtering also scales down nicely too

The Witcher 3 is now out on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

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