Here’s your first look at The Witcher 3’s long-awaited next-gen update

Here's your first look at The Witcher 3's long-awaited next-gen update

CD Projekt’s long-promised next-gen update for The Witcher 3 is nearly upon us, and ahead of its PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC arrivals on December 14, the studio has shared a first. overview of the various improvements it will bring.

As for the technical improvements, CD Projekt positively whistled them during its first look live streambut PC gamers can expect to see support for raytracing, DLSS and FSR, along with a selection of new Ultra Plus graphics options, improving background characters, level of detail and more.

Indeed, there are visual tweaks across the board, including an overhaul for grass and foliage, improved and more varied weather conditions, and higher-resolution textures and meshes across all environments. The tiles of Novigrad are no longer normal maps, for example, but now fully 3D. Keen-eyed players will also see smoke billowing from chimneys in distant villages.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Next-Gen Update Trailer

Console gamers will of course also be able to take advantage of CD Projekt’s various enhancements, with new Performance and Quality modes offering the choice of better visuals at 30fps or priority 60fps. Expect full console details ahead of release.

However, the Witcher 3 next-gen update incorporates more than just visual improvements, and CD Projekt has also taken the opportunity to introduce a number of new features and quality of life improvements. There’s a new photo mode, for example, giving gamers control over the likes of FOV, tilt, depth of field, aperture, focus distances, exposure and contrast for more beautiful shots. Additionally, there’s a new optional in-game camera, bringing the view closer to the action on foot, on horseback, or both.

There are also new map filters – allowing explorers to hide question mark icons – and the minimap can also be specifically hidden while exploring. Using the latter option, the minimap can be temporarily restored with the press of a button, and it will automatically spawn in battle.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt — Introducing the Next-Gen Update.

Elsewhere there are improvements to controls – by holding down a button in combat, it’s possible to instantly trigger a sign of your choice without having to bring up the radial map – and there’s a new sprint option for Geralt. And still in the realm of controls, PS5 gamers will benefit from support for DualSense haptic feedback.

Other notable additions include a range of accessibility improvements – such as larger HUD and subtitle options – as well as improved language support, including Chinese dubbing and subtitles. There are also plenty of polish tweaks, including a new pause option for cutscenes, as well as fixes for cutscene stuttering and previously broken questlines – with CD Projekt stating the patch should retroactively fix broken quests during backups. Finally, there’s cross-progress and cross-save support on PC, Xbox, and Playstation.

CD Projekt has previously stated that PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch owners will be able to enjoy “numerous additions and improvements” as part of a patch accompanying the next-gen update on other consoles, but exactly how many ( if any) of the above will make the jump to the latest generation machines is unclear.

We do know, however, that all platforms will be getting a small slice of DLC themed around Netflix’s The Witcher TV series. These will include new armor and weapon options for Geralt, as well as a new outfit for Dandelion, based on those seen in the series – and there’s even a new quest tied to acquiring them, with Doug Cockle making a return to the lead role.

The free next-gen update for The Witcher 3 and its last-gen counterpart arrive on December 14.

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