If you've been waiting for April to get your hands on the next epic RPG from the makers of The Witcher series, you're going to have to wait a bit longer, as the developer has just announced that the game will be delayed by a whopping five months. What's more, when discussing the new release window, CD Projekt stressed that its attention is on current-gen consoles and PC only, with PS5 (opens in new tab) and Xbox Series X (opens in new tab) versions of the game very deliberately not getting a mention at all.
In fact, the developer has gone out of its way to highlight that the title has very much been designed with the PS4 (opens in new tab) and Xbox One (opens in new tab) in mind, rather than being a cross-platform title. In spite of this, here at T3 we have no doubt that a next-gen version will be on the way - maybe not when the consoles launch, but certainly within a year.
In its statement (opens in new tab) on the game's new release date of September 17, CD Projekt said that while the game is "is complete and playable...there's still work to be done." The revised launch date brings it very close to the holiday 2020 window which will see both Microsoft and Sony's next-gen consoles make their debut, but in a teleconference call (opens in new tab) that was held following the announcement of the delay, CD Projekt Red joint CEO Adam Kiciński said, "[Cyberpunk 2077] was always designed for [PS4 and Xbox One]. We are thinking about the next generation, but for now, we are focused on the current generation. That plan is still valid."
It's not surprising that the devs want to reaffirm their commitment to their original plans after sharing the news that the date has slipped. Fans will no doubt be disappointed, and any sign that they could be left behind while the developer is looking ahead to future platforms would almost certainly create a negative backlash from the portion of the audience who won't necessarily be upgrading their consoles straight away.
But just because they're not talking about it, doesn't mean it's not on the cards. In fact, CD Projekt has been rather candid about bringing the sci-fi game to the upcoming platforms. and in a call to investors last year (opens in new tab) said, "Our games were always kind of ahead of technology; they were always played best on strong PCs, so in many areas we are kind of ready or almost ready for stronger specs – so, from a technical perspective this seems to be doable."
- PS5 demo ran EIGHTEEN times faster than PS4 in this crucial area (opens in new tab)
- PS5 games will "feel realistic, as if you are there" according to Keisuke Kikuchi (opens in new tab)
The PC version of the game is guaranteed to look blisteringly hot, with features like ray tracing and all the other bells and whistles that will contribute to making the title eyeball-wateringly beautiful. Neither of the current-gen consoles have the ability to handle that, but the PS5 and Xbox Series X are a different story.
Given the PR spin needed to keep fans happy after such a significant delay, and the devs already alluding to a next-gen game release that's "definitely not going to be around the launch timeframe of these consoles" but is nevertheless on the cards, it's a given at this point that Cyberpunk 2077 will grace next-gen machines; although we may have to wait until 2021 to get our hands on the upgraded version of the game, at which point we'll probably be looking at a definitive edition of the game with some DLC thrown in for good measure.