The Witcher 3's Xbox One, PS4 Performance Compared

A look at how the two console versions of the RPG stack up against one another.

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With The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt launching this week to a great deal of critical acclaim, we're now getting to dig into the technical side of the game. Digital Foundry has compared the two console versions, and those fortunate enough to own both platforms may not have as easy of a choice between the two as they expected.

We already knew the PS4 version would run at 1080p and the Xbox One version would employ dynamic scaling that would allow it to move from 900p up to 1080p. Digital Foundry found it rarely hit the latter mark, and while the resolution disparity becomes noticeable in some spots, in other ways the two versions are indistinguishable.

Where the differences really emerge are in terms of frame rate. During cutscenes, the PS4 version is capped at 30fps, while the Xbox One version is allowed to fluctuate. A higher frame rate isn't necessarily a good thing in this case, and Digital Foundry found the steady 30fps to be preferable. But that isn't always the case, as when the PS4 frame rate drops, it immediately locks itself to 20fps, whereas the Xbox One version might drop as low as 20 but then immediately increase.

During gameplay, both systems have trouble maintaining a consistent frame rate when moving through the large city of Novigrad, while combat sequences "flatten[ed] at around 30fps." Both systems experience their own variety of issues when riding through forests. The result of all this is that "neither console version feels as smooth as it should, and each is prone to big dips during gameplay."

Obviously, if you have the necessary hardware for it, PC is the ideal platform from a technical standpoint. Digital Foundry approximates the visual quality of the console versions to be around "the PC's mid-point in terms of overall quality--with extras like velocity-based motion blur, chromatic aberration, bloom, and light shafts all engaged."

For the full analysis, head over to Digital Foundry.

Developer CD Projekt Red today released a new patch for the PC version of Witcher 3 that will also soon be available on consoles. You can read about that here.

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