The next-gen version of The Witcher 3 isn't suffering from a lack of post-release attention. The latest 4.03 patch comes packed with bug fixes and improvements. Removing the ability to eat food underwater is surely near the top of the list, but beyond that, it also introduces Intel XeSS support.
The Witcher 3 next-gen update is taxing, even to high-end PCs. Intel's Arc cards may be affordable, but that means you aren't going to get performance at RTX 4090 or 7900 XTX levels. Every frame rate bonus helps, so XeSS support is definitely welcome.
XeSS is a competitor to Nvidia's DLSS and AMD's FSR upscaling technologies. DLSS is exclusive to Nvidia graphics cards, but XeSS (and FSR) can run on most modern graphics cards. Of course, if you've got an Nvidia card you'll be running DLSS, and FSR on an AMD card, but XeSS remains the only upscaling tech that is cross-platform and uses AI acceleration.
Intel's Arc graphics cards may not have blown the competition away, and Intel's drivers—while better than they were six months ago—still have room for improvement. But one area Intel has received its fair share of praise is XeSS, which works quite well even if it doesn't come with DLSS 3.0's magical frame generation ability.
XeSS might just be worth a try on The Witcher 3 no matter what card you've got, for giggles if nothing else, but it's absolutely worth enabling if you're running an Intel Arc card.
Best CPU for gaming: Top chips from Intel and AMD
Best gaming motherboard: The right boards
Best graphics card: Your perfect pixel-pusher awaits Best SSD for gaming: Get into the game first
Apart from XeSS support, the 4.03 patch brings many ray tracing bug fixes and general performance improvements to ray-traced global illumination and reflections. While it may not feature Henry Cavill in a bathtub, The Witcher 3 is sure to glisten and look real shiny with a sufficiently capable graphics card.