The Witcher 3 next-gen edition is the definitive edition of the open-world role-playing game developed by CD Projekt Red, featuring visual and gameplay improvements over the previous version of the game, but in some limited regards, it is not on the same level as the pre-release version that has been showcased multiple times before 2015.
A new comparison video put together by Cycu1 highlights how the E3 2014 demo is still way ahead of the next-gen edition when it comes to atmosphere, with volumetric fog in Crookback Bog, for example, giving the game a feel that is closer not only to the world introduced by the Andrzej Sapkowski novels but also to previous entries in the series. Plenty of other changes are also highlighted in the videos, such as general lighting, model, and animation changes.
Among the many new features introduced in The Witcher 3 next-gen edition are ray tracing features, which make the world looks amazing. Unfortunately, these features come at a stability and performance cost, which can only be mitigated slightly on PC thanks to unofficial tweaks, as highlighted by Alessio.
Walking through Toussaint's capital of Beauclair provided stunning vistas left and right. At first glance, the game performed rather nicely on a high-end rig (Intel i7 12700K, GeForce RTX 4090), delivering around 120 frames per second with DLSS 3 enabled. However, the problems quickly kicked in, from the annoying stuttering that temporarily halves frame rates to a seemingly unending series of crashes. Seriously, it felt like The Witcher 3 Next-Gen crashed every two or three minutes or so, making our test a real pain.
The Witcher 3 is now available on PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch worldwide. The additional content and gameplay tweaks of the next-gen edition will be coming in the future on previous-gen consoles in the future.