The Witcher 3 Pays a Heavy Price for Ray-Tracing on PS5, Resolution is Low and 30fps Shaky

Nathan Birch
The Witcher 3 next-gen

The Witcher 3 next-gen update arrives in a couple of days, and while we’ve seen some footage of the new versions of the game in action, CD Projekt Red hasn’t been as forthcoming as they could be about the nitty-gritty details. Well, thanks to the reliable pixel-counters at ElAnalistaDeBits, we now know exactly what to expect from the properly-patched next-gen version of The Witcher 3, at least on the PS5. A full multi-platform comparison is presumably coming later.

The good news is, the PS5 version of The Witcher 3 clearly looks much nicer than it did on PS4, with much better lighting, reflections, and various asset improvements. Load times are also almost 10x faster. That said, it comes at a heavier cost than you might think, with Ray-Tracing mode in particular offering a relatively low resolution and a sometimes-juddery 30fps. You can check out the full analysis below, provided you have around 15 minutes to spare.

Post next-gen patch, The Witcher 3 offers two visual modes on PS5 – Ray Tracing and Quality. The Ray-Tracing mode is a dynamic 1440p, with the average resolution not being much better than 1080p (around 1188p). Ray-Tracing mode targets 30fps, but frequent juddery drops of 1 to 3 frames can happen in in busy areas like towns. That said, it looks to be a smooth 30fps out in the field. As for the Performance mode, it is a (very) dynamic 4K, with the resolution commonly sitting at around 1548p. Performance isn’t perfect in this mode either, falling to the mid-50s, but, of course, a few dropped frames are less noticeable at 60fps.

Again, there’s no denying the next-gen version of The Witcher 3 looks better than before, but a few more visual options would be welcome. Perhaps a middle-ground 30fps/40fps option without ray-tracing that would allow you to push the resolution closer to an actual 4K.

The Witcher 3 next-gen update arrives on PC, Xbox Series X/S, and PS5 on December 14. It will be accompanied by a patch for last-gen platforms, which will add content inspired by the Netflix series and other features without the visual bells and whistles.

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