One of the latest games that Digital Foundry has been putting through its paces this week is The Witcher 3 Next-Gen for Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, and the analysis reveals some interesting differences between the two at launch.
Firstly, in terms of the 30FPS quality mode, DF points out that it looks incredible on the two current-gen consoles, and the Xbox Series X version often runs at a higher pixel count on average than PS5, although "there are very visible differences in foliage and shadow draw distance" where Sony's console benefits the most.
That said, the Series X version tends to lock at 30FPS for the most part, which is an improvement compared to PlayStation 5 "for almost every case". The exception to this rule is the city of Novigrad, which can sometimes see the Series X drop its frame rate to as low as 23FPS. Regardless, DF advises that quality mode isn't the ideal choice on either console as both suffer from fairly severe input lag.
"Xbox Series X can enjoy a higher dynamic resolution and performance advantages over PS5, but has easily noticeable level of detail drawbacks against its rival console."
"You get better foliage and shadow draw on PS5, but worse performance in its RT mode - and to be clear, neither console in RT mode feels great owing to the higher input latency."
As for the performance mode, both the Xbox Series X and PS5 generally remain locked at 60FPS, aside from the likes of Novigrad where both consoles suffer drawbacks once again. DF says Series X has a slight advantage here:
"In performance mode, Series X has a frame-rate advantage - albeit with more limited draw distance vs PS5."
There are a few improvements that CD Projekt Red could target in patches for The Witcher 3, then, and the outlet points out that stability has also been an issue — something we found when suffering a few crashes during the review period.
All in all, though, you're still going to have a blast with The Witcher 3 Next-Gen if you decide to pick it up over the holiday period (it's discounted in the Xbox Countdown Sale), and don't forget it's free if you already own the Xbox One version!
Here's the final verdict from the Digital Foundry crew as of right now:
"Overall, The Witcher 3 Complete Edition is an ambitious next-gen release and it's fantastic that CD Projekt RED is giving away the update for free when it does so much more than many paid-for remastered. Equally though, being free doesn't spare it from criticism.
The main issues with it for now relate to stability - the crashes on PS5 and Series X - and also performance struggling to hit a locked 30fps in the RT mode, notably on PS5. Features-wise, it's also odd that Series X isn't as dense in detail as PS5, which should be a huge advantage over the last-gen release."