The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has finally been updated with HDR color support on PlayStation 4, but players are complaining that the patch that delivered the feature yesterday appears to have also introduced some visual problems for PS4 Pro users playing in 4K.
Yesterday, developer CD Projekt Red issued a patch that updated The Witcher 3 to version 1.60/1.61 on PS4. The patch added HDR support across all PS4 models, a feature that the studio said back in December would “soon be released.” At the time, CD Projekt Red had patched the Xbox One version of the game with HDR support, but only on the Xbox One X; the studio did not add HDR for the Xbox One S until late March.
In addition to HDR support, the v1.60 update on PS4 includes “various performance optimizations; stability improvements; localization bugfixing; minor visual improvements,” according to the patch notes. However, players are reporting that the patch is also causing severe issues with object pop-in and a reduced level of detail in the distance.
“I see trees vanish in front of me,” said a user starting a thread on the CD Projekt Red forums. “Some trees just disappear and some appear out of nowhere!” Multiple videos on YouTube demonstrate the awful pop-in. You can see ground foliage like grass show up only when Geralt gets close — it’s as if the game renders full environmental detail only within a certain radius of him.
In a different area of The Witcher 3, the issue is even worse. Entire trees flicker in and out of view as they sway in the wind; the problem doesn’t seem to be tied so much to how far the objects are from Geralt.
According to the affected players, this wasn’t a problem until the v1.60 patch. They’re also reporting that the update removes supersampling for PS4 Pro owners playing The Witcher 3 on a 1080p TV; now, users must enable supersampling in the PS4’s system settings. The pop-in issue appears to be limited to PlayStation 4 Pro users playing in 4K Mode, as opposed to the 1080p mode.
“I haven’t yet experienced any of the graphical errors while in 1080p and the framerate is solid so I’m sticking to this mode until 4k is fixed, as should all 1080p users,” said forum user The_Operator_XIII. The individual later said they had received an email from CD Projekt Red saying that the studio is “aware of this issue” and that “the developer team is working on it.” Another user, MTaranto, said that although the pop-in problem is “less aggressive when in 1080p” the situation is “still worse than the previous patch overall.”
We’ve asked CD Projekt Red for comment on the graphical issues with The Witcher 3 v1.60 on PS4, and we’ll update this article with any information we receive. For more on the game, read our breakdown of what the 4K Mode/Performance Mode toggle brought to the Xbox One X version.
Update (May 16): The Witcher 3 developer CD Projekt Red released a hotfix today to address these issues, the studio announced on the game’s Twitter account. The update “increases draw distance for foliage, while using 4K on PS4 Pro,” according to the tweet.
Correction (April 13): This article previously referenced a Performance Mode, which does not exist in the PS4 version of The Witcher 3. We’ve edited the article to reflect this.