Jonathan Blow confirms a PS4 Pro patch for The Witness

An Xbox One version will be released next Tuesday, September 13.


Designer Jonathan Blow announced that his company, Thekla, Inc., will release a patch for The Witness that optimizes the game for PlayStation 4 Pro.

Since The Witness already runs at a steady 60 frames per second on standard PS4 consoles, Blow and his team are shooting to implement other technical features in service toward visual quality. Booting up the game on PS4 Pro will trigger one of two display modes, and the mode you get depends on your display device.

"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," according to a news post on the game's website.

When you run The Witness on a PS4 Pro connected to a device that renders at 1080p or lower, scenes will be rendered at 1080p instead of 900p. Antialiasing will get bumped up from 2x to 4x MSAA—all while holding the framerate steady at 60fps. "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."

Thekla is also working on HDR support, a visual feature that Sony will integrate into all PS4 models next week via a firmware update. Interestingly, Blow and the Thekla team had no idea that PS4 standard and Slim models would be able to take advantage of HDR until yesterday's announcement.

"We think it's great that Sony are doing this. We don't know the technical details of how it will work, yet, but provided that nothing prevents us, the Witness patch will use HDR on all PS4s when available. (You will, of course, need an HDR TV or monitor for HDR mode to kick in!)"

It's not a given that every game will run at 60fps on PS4 Pro. Some titles such as Mass Effect Andromeda will hit 30fps in favor of parity between PS4 platforms and higher visual quality.

In related Witness news, the long-awaited Xbox One version will be released next Tuesday, September 13.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

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