The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will not be patched or updated to support the 4K features of PlayStation 4 Pro.
"Since we want to fully focus on Cyberpunk 2077 and Gwent [standalone game], and converting The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt from a full HD game into a 4K one [on console] would be too much of a time and resource-consuming process, we decided not to release an edition of Wild Hunt supporting the new features of PlayStation Pro," CD Projekt Red told me.
I specify "on console" in the quote above because on PC The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt does support 4K. Digital Foundry tested The Witcher 3 in 4K for an article about 4K PC gaming. DF even used 4K Witcher 3 as a benchmark while testing theoretical PlayStation Neo hardware before PlayStation 4 Pro was officially announced.
But if The Witcher 3 already supports 4K on PC, why is it so much effort getting it working on PS4 Pro?
Digital Foundry's Tom Morgan told me it isn't quite as simple as upping the resolution. "Showing everything at 4K resolution is one half of the problem," he said. "You need a good-looking world too, to hold up to scrutiny at 4K."
What he means by that is The Witcher 3 uses medium-to-high quality textures on console, whereas on PC, textures scale up to ultra. Shadows and draw distance are better on PC too. This is all in our Witcher 3 PC vs PS4 and Xbox One face-off that we wrote when the game launched in spring 2015. Patches have changed things since then but you get the idea.How a tiny studio invented Diablo, and the action RPG 'All the technology we built was based on a single screen grab from X-Com.'
They're all things that could presumably be shoehorned into an update for PlayStation 4 Pro, but not, it sounds like, without significant development effort. And CD Projekt Red has a habit of going whole hog rather than half hog with these things.
I expect it's a step too far now that the studio has closed the door on The Witcher 3 following the release of The Game of the Year edition at the end of August.
The PS4 Pro arrives 10th November priced £349/€399, and there are a number of PS4 games that will be patched to support the PS4 Pro 4K and HDR features, including Uncharted 4, Shadow of Mordor and Call of Duty: Black Ops 3. Indeed, all new games released after October must support it.
Cover image taken from Dead End Thrills' The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt gallery.