Performance mode runs at 60 frames-per-second with dynamic scaling.
When the Xbox One X launched in November, players discovered the console could run a completely un-patched disc version of The Witcher 3 at 60 frames per second. The Xbox One X update for the game dropped today, giving players a choice of 60 FPS performance or 30 FPS at 4K.
Players who download the update for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt to their Xbox One X will find a new "advanced" option in their display settings menu. Here they can choose between "4K Mode" and "Performance Mode."
4K mode is the game with all the graphical bells and whistles intact, running at a stable 30 FPS. The update adds HDR support plus enhanced shadows, ambient occlusion, texture filtering and higher resolution textures, so it should look super pretty.
4K mode indeed looks very pretty.
Performance mode mode dials down the visual effects and introduces dynamic resolution scaling in order to hit a 60 frames per second target. It's the same sort of resolution scaling Bethesda used in its Fallout 4 Xbox One X enhanced update, smoothly sliding between 1080p and 4K to keep those frames rolling high.
The difference isn't that big, from what I've played so far. If you compare the performance mode screen atop this article with the 4K mode screen further down, the main difference is the sharpness of the god rays, the beams of light filtering through the trees. I'm glad to have the choice, but I'm going to go with the 60 FPS mode. Look at this.
The Xbox One X update for The Witcher 3 is available for download today. An update enabling HDR support for the PlayStation 4 Pro is coming soon.