Our initial impressions about the PS4 and Xbox One versions of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
CD Projekt’s most ambitious project is finally available on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. There is a lot that has been said about the game. From accusations ranging from graphical downgrade to maintaining parity between the PS4 and Xbox One versions, the game’s road to launch has been nothing but controversial. Despite these extravagant claims, let us get one thing out of the way. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is one of the best looking role playing games you will play on the PS4 and Xbox One.
After playing through the first hour of both the PS4 and Xbox One versions, CD Projekt have ensured that the game is heavily optimized performance wise. We tested both versions with the day one patch installed and are pleased to report that the game surprisingly runs at a consistent 30 frames per second. However there is a catch. The frame rate is unlocked resulting into frame pacing issues. The frame rate fluctuation isn’t that drastic to cause judder during gameplay but it is noticeable at times. Hopefully, CD Projekt will provide a 30 fps locked option in a future patch, which should help in improving the visual experience by a bit.
Talking about pixel count, the PS4 version takes the lead with a native 1920 X 1080p presentation. The Xbox One version fluctuates consistently between 900p and 1080p depending on the set of resources that the GPU currently has at a given state. But The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on the Xbox One is rendered at 900p resolution during most times. This immediately gives rise to better image quality on the PS4. But other that, there is absolutely no differences between the two console counterparts.
Both versions are employing temporal anti-aliasing solution resulting into crisp and sharp edges. Everything form volumetric to alpha effects are identical on the PS4 and Xbox One. Despite one console having a superior GPU than the other, he draw distance and texture streaming is surprisingly similar on both the consoles. Texture quality seems to be identical as well but the Xbox One version does have the advantage of better anisotropic filtering. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt features a massive world so CD Projekt have used sequential loading for assets resulting into a slight pop in and streaming issues at times, especially when charging on a horse.
Overall, our initial impressions of the console version of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt are extremely positive. We had some concerns regarding how CD Projekt will maintain a 30 frames per second experience in a such an amazingly dense world. But it seems that they have nailed it. We will follow up with a detailed article later this week, comparing the console versions against the superior PC build. We will also consider dynamic variables such as weather and time in our final verdict. Stay tuned as we have more to share from the wild world of The Witcher 3. In the meantime check out our head to head comparison between the PS4 and Xbox One version in 1080p and 60fps below.