The Witness Getting PS4 Pro Support
Jonathan Blow, front man and lead developer behind indie darling The Witness, announced on the game’s website that his team is hard at work on a PS4 Pro patch for it. Blow does stress that they are doing so to improve the visual quality with the game.
The Witness already runs at a consistent 60fps on the base PlayStation 4, so rather than increasing frame rate, our patch is about visual quality.
Once the patch goes live and you try to play the game on your PS4 Pro, the game will boot up in one of two modes, depending on the TV or monitor currently being used.
When using PS4 Pro with a 4k display, we will render at 1440p or possibly higher, all while keeping a consistent 60 frames per second. This image will then be upscaled to 4k, and we will draw text, menus, and other UI at native 4k resolution. (This is similar to what happens on the base PS4, where we render the 3D scene at 900p, then upscale to 1080p and draw UI at 1080p). We might be able to achieve resolutions higher than 1440p based on various engineering tradeoffs (for example, if we boost the resolution of the main scene to a greater degree than we boost the resolution of the reflections in water, which tend to be distorted anyway. Also, we’ll evaluate checkerboard rendering — we’re not sure if it’s the right way to go for this game, but we’ll see.) We’ll post again when we finalize these specs.
When using PS4 Pro with a display that is 1080p or lower, we will render the scene at 1080p (instead of the old 900p), and increase antialiasing quality from 2x to 4x MSAA, again while keeping a solid 60 frames per second. We are exploring additional visual quality increases, like increased streaming distance for high-resolution meshes, or decreasing the noticeability of the fade-in between faraway LODs and high-res close-up meshes. Again, we’ll post details when this is finalized!
We’re also working on HDR support. Here in the office we just got a new LG B6P television, which is very bright and has low black levels, providing a lot of dynamic range, and it’s been fun so far tweaking the look of the game on HDR displays like this.
Blow went on to say that Sony surprised his team with the announcement of HDR support for all PS4s, and so they will implement a patch for HDR support across the board as well.
They plan to release the PS4 Pro patch on November 10, 2016 when the new console releases.