The summer of 2020 will be forever remembered as the time when the gaming industry changed, in some ways for the better. With the cancelation of E3 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, one week chock full of gaming reveals has been stretched out across an entire season, and for one of the year's biggest releases — Cyberpunk 2077 from Witcher 3 developer CD Projekt Red — that means a series of livestream presentations teasing new aspects of the title.
For anyone looking to learn more about Cyberpunk 2077, here's how to tune into "Night City Wire" and what you can expect.
What is CD Projekt Red's Night City Wire?
Originally conceived as something of an E3 conference intended to promote Cyberpunk 2077, Night City Wire is a livestream showcase series of multiple episodes that will gradually reveal more aspects, features, and trailers for the game. They'll seemingly each be only about a half-hour each in length, and while the ongoing schedule remains unconfirmed, the first will happen in late June.
Cyberpunk 2077 Night City Wire date and start time
On Thursday, June 25, the presentation will air at 6 p.m. Central European Time, which equates to 12 p.m. Eastern.
This first Night City Wire was originally scheduled for June 11 — which would have been the last day of E3, had it happened — but it was delayed on June 2 out of respect for ongoing protests against system racism and police brutality. "More important discussions are happening right now and we want them to be heard," a tweet announcing the delay reads. "We wholeheartedly stand against racism, intolerance and violence. Black Lives Matter."
How to watch Night City Wire
Night City Wire presentations will be streamed via CD Projekt Red's Twitch account, but it can also be watched via a Summer Game Fest YouTube livestream and likely through other YouTube streams as well. Twitch will probably run a few seconds ahead, so it's definitely the best place to tune in.
What to expect from Night City Wire
The tweet confirming the airtime for this first Night City Wire mentions that the 25-minute episode will include a "brand new trailer, present fresh gameplay footage and chat with the devs in detail about one of the game features, braindance." Dual Shockers reports that the presentation will be hosted by Hollie Bennett, the UK Head of Communication for CD Projekt Red.
What is "Braindance" in Cyberpunk 2077?
This "braindance" feature is a form of immersive VR entertainment within the world of Cyberpunk 2077 and the Cyberpunk tabletop role-playing game before it. Through braindancing, anyone can experience a digital recording of a person's experience, except this goes far deeper than a mere video. "The viewer can stream a braindance directly into his neural system via a special brain augmentation, called a BD player" an official description reads. "Braindances allow the viewer to experience all brain processes registered, including emotions, muscle movements, and all stimuli perceived by the recording person."
Within the world, this technology has become a mass-marketed form of entertainment. "People live someone else’s life while sleeping in the gutter," lead gameplay designer Marcin Janiszewski said in a January 2013 interview with The Verge. "It’s like a new drug." That makes it sound rather similar to the Metaverse from Ready Player One. Except this technology was invented as a way to psychologically recondition criminals, according to a blog post about the lore, before being adapted as a form of entertainment, to escape from crushing poverty and other dystopian social issues.
A wiki explaining the technology claims that in the game, braindancing is accessible at arcades and other public places, but it's also possible using home units. It's unclear exactly how the technology will be featured in the game, but the protagonist is said to have a home unit. The practical uses could theoretically be just about anything: minigames, pornographic experiences, revisiting old memories.
We'll be sure to learn more very soon.
Cyberpunk 2077 will be released on November 19, 2020 for PS4 and Xbox One.