Blow went on to explain that when you play The Witness on a PS4 Pro console, you will see one of two modes, depending on your TV/monitor setup. On a 4K display, you’ll see 1440p or maybe higher, while frame rate will stay at 60 FPS, Blow said.
“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),” he explained. “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). We’ll post again when we finalize these specs.”
If you’re playing The Witness on PS4 Pro on a 1080p or lower screen, you’ll still see an improvement, as the resolution will be 1080p instead of 900p. The Anti-aliasing quality will also improve from 2X to 4X MSAA, Blow explained, adding that the experience will also stay at 60 FPS.
As with the 4K TV scenario, Blow and his team are currently exploring how they can improve the visual quality further by using things 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.”
Additionally, the team is working to add HDR support to The Witness.
“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 said. “We thought we were working on HDR support only for the PS4 Pro, but yesterday Sony announced that they will be enabling HDR support on all PS4s via a firmware update. Sometimes Sony even surprises developers!”
Regarding the firmware update to allow all PS4s to use HDR, Blow said he thinks it’s “great” that Sony is doing this, though he added that he’s still in the dark on specifics for how it will work.
Additionally, Blow stressed that everyone in his blog post and mentioned here are not “absolute promises.” Things could change, he said.