Will The Witcher 3 reach 1080p on consoles? Probably not

2 min read

Witcher 3 2
Resolution and frame rate have become massive buzzwords thanks to the PS4 and Xbox One. Lately it’s more important to find out whether a game is running at 1080p and 60FPS instead or seeing if it’s actually, you know, a good game. The Witcher 3 already looks incredible, but how will it look on console?A little while ago CD Projekt Red stated that they were having issues with reaching 1080p on the Xbox One, but that the PS4 version of The Witcher 3 should be able to reach Full HD. It’s been a few months since then and now it seems neither console will be able to hit 1080p.

During an interview at Gamescom, Visual Effects Artist on The Witcher 3, Jose Teixeira, didn’t seem confident about reaching the fabled console resolution by next year.

Ideally, we’re pushing for 30 frames per second. The resolution, honestly, it depends; we’re working on it, we’re trying to get it as high as possible. If we can make it at 1080P, sure, but I don’t know if it’s going to make it. To be honest, I really don’t know. Probably not. But for sure, we need it to run at a smooth frame rate, so at least 30 FPS.
We’re doing optimization right now and I have to say, it’s actually running quite well. To be honest, we were expecting a lot worse. When we first started playing on PS4 and XB1, we expected the game not to work at all, because it was so heavy, so we were expecting it to crash, but it’s actually running. It’s not quite there yet, but it’s running. So I think that with a little more optimization, I think we’ll get it running really well.

If it comes down to resolution and frame rate, having a smoother experience always comes first. It’s good that CD Projekt Red is prioritizing a stable 30FPS over reaching higher resolutions, but it is curious that neither console might be able to handle The Witcher 3 at 1080p.

Is it just a case of the game becoming too big for even the PS4 to handle, or is CD Projekt Red aiming for console parity and letting the Xbox One hold things back a bit? Nothing has been officially confirmed, so until then a lot could change. Especially since we’re still nearly six months away from launch.

The Witcher 3 will be released in February next year on Xbox One, PS4 and PC.

Last Updated: August 21, 2014

Alessandro Barbosa

You can all call me Sandy until I figure out how to edit this thing, which is probably never. Sandy not good enough? Call me xXx_J0k3R_360degreeN0Sc0pe_xXx. Also, Geoff's a bastard.

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    In that header I can only see one ou pyromanic.

    • Some people just want to watch the world burn…

      • Skyblue

        Luuuuurve that line.

  • Rags
    • Hammersteyn

      Cell power!

      • FoxOneZA

        More like Sell power,

    • FoxOneZA

      Unlock the power in Cell.

  • Viking Of Science

    Again, CDPR are a PC developer, they’re porting it over to console, this is why they’re struggling to get it to 1080p. The Build the engine they feel they need, as they did with Witcher 2…. Getting it to run on set hardware is not top priority at outset.

    But, in the case of the Witcher, stable framerate over Resolution is they right way… Hell, if it looks good on console as Witcher 2 on high settings PC, Console owners will already be impressed….

    • Hammersteyn

      Heaven forbid they port it from console to PC

      • Viking Of Science

        All the best games are ported FROM PC…. Half-Life 2, Diablo 1 and 3, Witcher 2. X-com Enemy Unknown

        • Hammersteyn

          Which is how it should be for multiplatform titles. People don’t want another Watchdogs port.

      • Lars Anderson

        Uhhh…fuck no. That’s ass backwards.

        • Hammersteyn


    • Ryanza

      CD Projekt RED didn’t just do a simple port of The Witcher 2 onto consoles.

      And seeing as new consoles very PC like. Lowering the resolution will increase frames. But they still working on it.

  • Hammersteyn

    Do console users even care? Probably not.

  • Nikola

    As long as I get to play this game I could not care less on what resolution it runs, if it has graphics from Witcher 2 I am still golden as long as there is more Witcher to play with a new story graphics don’t matter to me.

    • jeremiah

      The game wont look like the witcher 2 dude. Its still on next gen hardware. The resolution might not be 1080p but the graphics themselves will still be better.

  • FoxOneZA

    Having resolution problems? Is frame-rate cramping your style? Feel like you need more oooh in your mppphhh…

    • Ryanza

      The graphics card used in that build is similar to the PS4 graphics card.

      • FoxOneZA

        “Similar” LOL

        • Ryanza

          more and less.

          • Ryanza

            oh wait i always get the rebranded cards mixed up. the 270x is similar to the PS4 gpu. the 280x is a rebranded 7970. So yeah much better than a PS4.

  • Rock789

    Man, I need to get this game SO bad!!! Me want!!!!!!!

    • You just want another medallion!

      • Rock789

        Of course… That way, I can bind your soul to it! Oh [email protected]… I said that out loud again, didn’t I? Bugger…

        • Forewarned is forearmed!

          • Rock789

            Hey, what you do with your forearm is your own business… Sies!

          • 0_O

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          You should wear it next time he’s around to test & see if it really does jump in the presence of monsters.

  • Sir Rants A Lot: On Pandora

    Ok can I say why this is really a problem? Because both MS and Sony promised next gen. They said that next-gen would run 1080 and better than PC’s.

    This has been proven to be a lie since both repeatedly fail to hit full HD or to be able to run the games on par with PC’s withing the same price range (Seriously go check youtube and you will find loads of builds that already outperform consoles at the same price).

    Anyway, moving along.

    So people are making a stink because they were blatantly lied to. Yes I agree it’s stupid to get hung up on this, but I can understand why console peeps will feel seriously hurt and done in. They were hoping for amazing tech that would beat the pants off anything and was supposed to be next gen and it simply wasn’t. Each new game that comes out that can’t hit 1080 is just another kick in the teeth because if these things are already being maxed out then how are they going to do better games in the future. It has nothing about being picky and rather everything about worrying what future games will perform like as graphics increase.

    Just my 2c worth

    • Spaffy

      Nice Rant. Very true.
      Think of next gen as an alternative, not a replacement to the pc.

      • Sir Rants A Lot: On Pandora

        That’s just the thing. Looking at what’s happening I can’t see me using a console as an alternative if it’s already struggling. It’s a reason I won’t get a console and the reason so many people are so vocal and upset about all of this.

        • Karl

          Uh, just one question. How did you some how get the info that both Sony and MS promised us better hardware that will surpass PC? Not trying to make fun of you, but just a question. Maybe a link towards of how you got that information. I just want to know

          • Ryanza

            It was about API’s and the fast communication between CPU, GPU and RAM.
            So they were saying that new console setups were better than what is offered on PC.

            or something like that. Didn’t follow to much into that shit because it was just shit.

          • Ryanza

            APU I mean. Or it was API. can’t remember.

          • Karl

            LOL. Can you give me a link to just show me that they are liars since the beggining. Thanks

          • Ryanza

            I’m not the person to ask for links. I’m not the googling type.

            But here’s a start to help your search for the truth.


          • Karl

            Thanks. Now I see both truths.

          • Sir Rants A Lot: On Pandora

            Necro-thread! hehehehe/

            Anyway. Where were you when Sony and MS were hyping their consoles and the thousands of reports that went around with Sony and MS claiming that because the system has true low-level access and is dedicated with less overheads that it would surpass high-end desktops. It was everywhere before launch 0_o. That’s where I got the info. Go dig a bit pre-launch and you will see all the promises they made of consoles being PC killers due to superior performance

          • Karl

            Thanks I will check it out. During that time I was having some personal things to do maybe that is why I did not hear about this, plus I didn’t have a computer back at that time last year. Tehe, I was dirt poor. Now I see both companies as dirty liars. Those snakes. Thanks agian.

    • FoxOneZA

      I said this was going to happen months ago but I was told that 8gb GDDR5 will make any PC whimper at the helm of technology but little did the common folk realise that you don’t use GDDR5 for programming and OS tasks. Then there’s the cheapskate APU that peaks at 1.8ghz boasting 8 narrow pipelines. The APU is a bottleneck unto itself. MS may unlock some power going forward due to customary hardware but that’s going to take time and may or may not happen.

      • Sir Rants A Lot: On Pandora

        and that’s just the thing. If both consoles were marketed as only better from previous gen consoles and not as PC killers, no one would be throwing their toys out the cot and none of the technical insides would really matter much.

        But they insisted on bragging that both consoles would be PC killers and would be UNMATCHED in performance. This simply isn’t true and it’s where all this nonsense started.

        Both consoles are amazing pieces of tech if you consider what they can do compared to previous gen and people would have been wow’ed if only they hadn’t overpromised what these pieces of tech could do

    • That`s very true. You expect everything graphics-wise to keep improving on the console, like with the PS3 for example, compare one of the first PS3 games, say, Heavenly sword to one of the newest ones, like Last of Us or even Uncharted 3, and there is definitely no comparison. Unless developers find some kind of absolutely brilliant way to optimize the heck out of their games, graphics improvements simply aren`t going to increase significantly in any way, on the PS4 and Xbox One.

    • Travis

      Absolutely, to be honest 1080p is actually old now, and most serious PC gamers overseas are already moving to 1440 and 4k gaming. The developers need to take into account that PCs can far outperform console graphics (at a price though), and need to cater to them and develop more titles in ultraHD.

    • Gerard Matthews

      But the thing is if that were the main goal of every game developer they would be making that the most important thing. In that case you would be stifling a game developers creativity because you wanted to meet some magical number! One that a good few metres from your screen you may not even notice.

      Also the graphic performance world is no longer what it was back when the PS3 and xbox 360 were being planned and released. Graphics performance has moved so far forward and to such extremes (enthusiast graphics cards) that there is no way it would be financially possible for sony or MS to release a console powerful enough to blow everything else away.

      Hell the vast majority of PC gamers can only look on lustfully at the ridiculously priced monsters that some people have plugged into their motherboards.

      The fact is Game developers have now acquired the skills to push any system to the limit, they have devised clever ways of squeezing out every last drop of performance and when that is not enough they have more tricks up their sleeves to fool us into thinking everything looks even better than it actually does. I would rather have that right from the outset than have to deal with developers who do not know how to get the most out of your gaming solution.

      It’s not totally Sony or MS’s fault either, game developers want to produce the best possible looking game with the resources they have (your console) so I say let them create because every now and then someone produces a gem.

      I think Sony and MS and particularly the former have delivered gaming platforms at a price and performance point that is both a massive upgrade to the previous generation and also something that people can afford.

      They have to balance both console sales (price point) and how awesome everything looks (performance point) and still make a profit. It’s a challenge and not only do they have to achieve this but in a form factor that is much smaller than your average pc.

      Lucky for them they have access to some very mature technology. Most of which was pioneered to serve the great master race (take a bow all PC players).

      PS: that last bit was meant to come across as very tongue in cheek, no offense intended.

      • Sir Rants A Lot: On Pandora

        I do agree and it’s unfair to go at the developers for the failure of the console makers.

        Yes, it is unreasonable and financially not a good idea to make the consoles more expensive with stronger tech. BUT, Microsoft and Sony promised a certain level of power that would beat PC’s. This isn’t just some imagined thing. This happened. Both MS and Sony said consoles were going to be PC killers and even be able to beat high end PC’s. This has been proven to be false as consoles are struggling to keep up with even mid range PC’s. There have been loads of sub $600 PC builds that already beat both consoles.

        Unfortunately by Sony and Microsoft both making false claims and promises of how well these consoles would perform it has left an ugly stain on the entire market. Sony and Microsoft are 100% to blame for people being upset that the games aren’t running at 1080p and 60FPS like it was promised.

        Some devs should also take some flack as well though as many of them backed MS and Sony by saying they were working with the tech already and believed the tech would perform as Sony and MS had said.

        False advertising, or in this case missinformed advertising, can have vast negative effects on the market

        • Gerard Matthews

          You make a good point and I agree that a large number of console owners may now be feeling lied to and have every right to be angry.

          Perhaps had they been a little more cautious in their marketing campaigns there would be less annoyed console owners.

          Seems hard to balance though because they want to sell so they need to market aggressively but maybe comparing to PC performance was a big mistake, next time they should just leave that comparison out.

          • Sir Rants A Lot: On Pandora


            The attempt at comparison to PC was a mistake and a rather big one. Had they just compared it against the previous consoles and said it would be far superior to those then this whole issue on res and framerate would not have been such a big thing.

            Pitty they had to stoop to false claims to try and sell the units

    • Brady miaau

      Yes. But take it out on the people who lied, not the people unable to meet the lie

      • Sir Rants A Lot: On Pandora

        As I said it’s stupid to get hung up on this. It’s unfair to the developers. But it’s still why people are upset and angry

  • Spaffy

    I still wonder if I’ll have to take out a 2nd mortgage to upgrade my PC so that I can play this on max.

  • UltimateNinjaPandaDudeGuy

    Bla bla bla, my screen does 1080p and that means the game will. #PC #SorryNotSorry #YesIHashtagEverywhereEvenIfItDoesntActuallyTagIt #DealWithIt

    Also since I installed Watchdogs, put it on Ultra and it just runs means I love my PC and it will love Witcher 3! I have such happy! MANY HAPPY! <3 My PC!

  • Gareth L (That eXCheez Guy)

    Consoles aren’t PCs. They shouldn’t be meant to run the same games.

    This is why it always worked well in the past: PC for long-term deep games, consoles for short-term not-as-deep adventures. Now due to all the rivalry between the two formats, they’re releasing all games types on all formats – and now we’re being reminded daily of the original reasons for the two, and their pitfalls are left glaring.

    In a nutshell: consoles aren’t meant to handle massive worlds of such high quality rendering and processing, that is the realm of PCs where the hardware can be upgraded where it isn’t coping. Games like The Witcher 3 will require most PC gamers to upgrade their systems to some degree; there’s no way that a 12-month old console can be expected to be on-par.

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  • iAmWeasel

    I’m pretty much over self righteous journos who scoff at gamers that care about frame rates and resolutions. I just spent 6k on a new “next-gen” console… is it really so unreasonable for me to care about getting maximum eye candy for my buck. Flipping hell man.

  • Ryanza

    Get the PC version to get the best out of The Witcher 3.
    Get the PS4 version if you just can’t bother upgrading your graphics card.
    Get the Xbox One version, then shame on you. You must hate The Witcher.

  • Ryanza

    The graphics card on the PS4 is about the same as a hd 7870 on PC. So high setting and 30fps my guess for The Witcher 3.

    The graphics card on the Xbox One is compared to a 7750 on PC with some extra CU’s. So medium settings with special features turned off.

    If it wasn’t for the Xbox One then game wouldn’t have been delayed till next year.

    • bob

      You are very mistaken if you think the Xbox One is holding back anything.

      Go look at Quantum Break, Halo 5 and Forza Horizon 2 gameplay videos.

      • Ryanza

        Ah yes, when I think of The Witcher 3 being a sandbox type game, when I think about CD Projekt RED pushing and trying to make games look and play better, oh yes I think about Halo 5 and Forza Horizon 2 and Quatum Break, which I should mention are all linear type of games.

        Halo 5 = hide behind a box
        Quantum Break = hide behind a box
        Forza = you are the box.

        The Witcher 3 = burning the box and slicing it open.

      • Ringo

        There’s Halo 5 gameplay videos? Link me please. Quantum Break looks alright but I haven’t seen a gameplay demo that has been confirmed to be running on an Xbox One. It should be mandatory that when developers demo these games they actually show you the hardware that they’re running on. I have the feeling a lot of console fanboys would get disheartened when all these great demos have a huge tower PC sitting next to them.

  • GTG

    My guess is CD Project Red are holding back, cause they’ve sucked up to Xbox. So not getting it to 1080p means less realization Xbox has lower system specs. Because CDPR were all over it with PS4 is highly likely to run in 1080p yeah PS4 has slighty better specs now they are saying highly unlikely.

    The suss thing about it they done this back peddaling no sooner had they revealed the cards and cloth map Xbox favortism.

    And considering The Witcher 3 was revealing how much difference in system capability was between PS4 and Xbox One that’s why Microsoft had to do the cloth map and cards cause they needed PR.

    So now with this back peddling, there’s less bad PR vs Microsoft in comparisons and Cards and cloth map is there cover to hide the fact under incentive.

    CD Project Red has been bought out and sold their values for a price. If they done it once for a price and still blantanly lied “They put players first’ Mark my words this spec situation is just another slip in the ol ‘We care’ but covering Microsofts ass.

    I picture a silver slippery slide

    • GTG
    • Ryanza

      The Witcher series has never been about graphics. The reason why people love The Witcher series is because of story, voice acting and music. A good story with choice and outcomes.

      There were many interviews with different people from CD Projekt RED working in different departments. The comment in the article was from a visual effects artist. He is not a graphics programmer and it’s not his job to optimize the resolution for the different consoles. I’ve read and listened to a few interviews with him and he likes to say, I think and I’m not sure, but he still gives his opinions. In different interviews he says different things.

      The E3 demo was running at 720p 30fps on Xbox One. The PS4 can reach 1080p. There are some areas that gets the 30fps but there are other areas that’s not getting the 30fps. They are trying to dial back the triangle count and other stuff to gain a few frames. So the game might not reach 1080p but they are trying. They will push each console to the best that console can do. They have said many times that the PS4 version will be a little bit better.

      On the PC side of things, big textures and uber settings. They are trying not to disappoint.

      The demo build that has been shown, is not the max settings for the game with all bells and whistles. 720p Xbox One and mid spec graphics cards were used.
      CD Projekt RED is smart not to show off max settings. It gives people a reasonable expectation of what the game will be like on consoles and for most PC gamers.
      If you look at how Ubisoft did it with Watch Dogs where they showed off amazing looking gameplay and the end result was really bland.
      The Witcher 3 on PC is going to look really good with lighting, shadows, clouds, water physics, ect.

      So saying that CD Projekt RED is holding back, implying that the game will be brought out at Xbox One system standards, is a bit too early to tell. When the game gets released and they do tests and they find out that the game runs and looks the same on both consoles. Then we can hate CD Projekt RED and blame it on Microsoft.

      But from what I’ve seen so far I’m impressed, I’m excited, I can’t wait.

    • Ryanza

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