The Witcher 3 may run slightly better on PS4 than Xbox One

"It's more of a PR differentiation," says CD Projekt.

At Polish conference Digital Dragons last week I broached, with CD Projekt co-founder Marcin Iwinski, the delicate matter of whether The Witcher 3 will run better on PS4 than on Xbox One.

There's a chance it will.

It's important to understand, however, that builds aren't finalised yet and there are optimisations to do. The game was delayed to February to allow more time for exactly that. But if, at the end of the day, one console can do slightly more than the other, then CDPR will let it.

"We are still working on squeezing the juice out of the consoles and Microsoft are supporting us in this respect," Iwinski told me. "The final effect, whether it's 720p, 1080p - we had the debate in the studio about it and actually asked our tech guys to explain how it works, and they sent me some complicated graphs that 'if I have this size of the screen, and I sit one meter or two meters from it, then I might be able to see the difference'.

"It's more of a PR differentiation," he added, "which is very important for Sony right now - and they are using it, obviously - than something that is really meaningful to gamers.

"We're definitely working to max out each of the platforms in terms of what we can get, because that's a crucial element of The Witcher. Will there be big differences? Really I don't think so. It's too early to say. If there will be, they will be tiny. It will be more like people talking 'hey, I have this and you have that and this is better'."

Last year's E3 debut gameplay trailer. A new one this year?

Iwinski stipulated that the PC version of The Witcher 3 will obviously have potential to scale up beyond what the console versions can manage, given the nature of the platform.

He was also clear in his company's commitment to not artificially restricting the console build of the game in order that it run the same on both machines.

"No we don't want to make any artificial things with the game, and both platform holders are supportive in terms of making sure it runs to the full potential," he said. "Again, it's against our values to dumb anything down for the sake of some business arrangement."

Beyond that, The Witcher 3 will differ on PS4 and Xbox One due to each machine's unique control schemes: Kinect and SmartGlass, and Move (the lightbar). But exactly how each will be used is still something under wraps - and perhaps not even decided yet.

"Let's look at it from a gamer's perspective," Iwinski said. "If you are asking us if it's a crucial feature to control it with moves and dance in front of your console..."

We laughed because it's an idea that's completely at odds with the core gaming appeal of the brand.

"That's pretty much the answer. It will be using the hardware whenever it really makes sense for the game, but it's all about you, your game pad and having fun."

Marketing director Michal Platkow-Gillewski added: "If there's added value, we will consider that. If it's just a fancy picture to put on the back of the box, we'll skip it."

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