At the beginning of the month, CD Projekt RED deployed a brand new The Witcher 3 patch for current-gen consoles, with one of the update's major objectives being to improve the game's ray tracing mode. While update 4.01 seems to have done that fairly successfully, it's made some 'baffling' changes to the game's 60FPS performance mode.
As analysed by the tech wizards over at Digital Foundry, The Witcher 3's latest patch does indeed improve the RT mode on Xbox Series X and PS5. However, for some reason, the game's 60FPS mode is now worse off than before, by quite a lot in certain areas as well.
"Xbox Series X was closer to the 30fps target at launch in its RT mode, and now the performance level is even more consistent, meaning that if RT at 30fps is your thing, Series X offers a smoother ride.
That should be the end of the story but it's not because bafflingly, the 60fps performance mode is now noticeably slower on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X - and it's not clear why this is happening as visuals look the same.
Starting off with Series X as an example, our Novigrad test run shows a drop by as much as eight or nine frames per second on the new patch. For the entire route, by foot or horseback, the drop-off is impossible to ignore now.
Frustratingly, in many areas where 60fps was possible at launch on Series X, it's now closer to the 50fps line."
Given that DF feels the visuals are no different here, this seems to be a bug of some sort, and we'd expect CDPR to iron out these performance mode issues in a future patch. However, for now, it might be best to rock the newly improved RT mode, or wait for further changes if 60FPS is an absolute must for you.