If you were hoping to play Cyberpunk 2077 on PS5 or Xbox Series X, CD Projekt Red's latest comments on the game's next-gen release might disappoint you. Despite proudly touting Cyberpunk 2077 as an example of Xbox Series X's new Smart Delivery feature, CD Projekt Red has now seemingly clarified that the game won't be available on next-gen consoles for quite some time.
"When it comes to a proper, full-blown next-gen version [of Cyberpunk 2077], that’s going to come later," CD Projekt Red SVP of business development Michal Nowakowski said during an earnings call this week. "We haven’t announced when and I don’t have a new comment here on that." (Translated by Video Games Chronicle.)
This comes as something of a shock. CD Projekt Red was the first third-party developer to confirm its support for Smart Delivery, an Xbox Series X feature that ensures that players won't have to re-buy what they already own and that they'll have access to enhanced versions of games in the future. Fans took that comment to mean that an upgraded version Cyberpunk 2077 would be available to play on Xbox Series X, and PS5, right when the console's launch for anyone who purchased a current-gen version when the game is released in September.
CD Projekt Red has now clarified that this isn't exactly the case.
Because it will be available before the launch of PS5 and Xbox Series X, the title will be backward compatible with those platforms. "We have officially confirmed both the update and the cross-gen availability, meaning that you’ll be able to play the game from the get-go on the next-gen," SVP of Business Development Michal Nowakowski told investors.
In other words, there will essentially be three versions of Cyberpunk 2077 for Xbox fans: the Xbox One version, the Xbox One version they can play on the Xbox Series X at launch, and an upgraded next-gen version that'll be released at some point in the future. While the next-gen version of Cyberpunk 2077 won't be available on day one of next-gen, Cyberpunk 2077 will be backward compatible from the get-go, at least on Xbox Series X.
"A patch will be available to everybody who purchases the Xbox One version here and now from the get-go, once that update is live, they’ll be able to download that free of charge," Nowakowski said. He wouldn't directly comment on the PS5 version as "it’s PlayStation that first needs to address these issues and ... we can’t jump the gun ahead of them.” Sony has yet to clarify if the PS5 will have a similar feature like Smart Delivery.
The bright side to this announcement is that Cyberpunk 2077 is still on track to hit a September 17, 2020 release date.
The Inverse Analysis — It's a shame that the next-gen version of Cyberpunk 2077 won't be on PS5 or Xbox Series X. CD Projekt Red's previous comments and hype now read as very misleading in retrospect. How will massive games like Cyberpunk 2077 run on current-gen hardware? The possibility of next-gen versions was really enticing at one point in time. If you're worried about technical issues, playing on PC or Google Stadia appear to be the safest options.
If not at launch for next-gen consoles, then when will CD Projekt Red release the next-gen versions of Cyberpunk 2077? The company teased in the same earnings call that Cyberpunk 2077 will be receiving DLC support comparable to what happened with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, so it's possible that we may have to wait until a Complete Edition of Cyberpunk 2077 launches to play a version built entirely for next-gen consoles.
Cyberpunk 2077 will be released for PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Google Stadia on September 17, 2020.