Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher 3 next-gen versions may not arrive this year

Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077 (Image credit: CD Projekt S.A.)

What you need to know

  • Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt are both due for a next-gen version to optimize the games for more powerful hardware.
  • While there is no official delay announcement, CD Projekt has implied that these anticipated releases could miss their planned 2021 release window.
  • Because of "lessons learned" from Cyberpunk 2077's development, CD Projekt isn't making any promises or commitments right now.
  • The next-gen versions for Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt are still slated for a 2021 release, but could be delayed down the line.

Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt represent the two flagship products from storied developer CD Projekt RED, and both games are slated to receive extensive next-gen versions in 2021 to optimize them with improved visuals, performance, and much more. However, according to VGC, CD Projekt can't fully commit to this previously planned release window, and have insinuated that one or both next-gen versions could potentially be delayed into 2022.

Nothing is set in stone at the moment, but CD Projekt referred to the tumultuous launch of Cyberpunk 2077, which led to a widespread controversy and millions of returned copies, especially on older consoles like Xbox One and PS4, as reasons for its uncertainty. It's only recently, with the release of updates like Cyberpunk 2077's 1.3 patch update, that Cyberpunk 2077 has reached satisfactory levels of performance.

"The target is to release the next-gen version of Cyberpunk 2077 late this year," Michał Nowakowski, CD Projekt's SVP of business development, said. "At the same time, keeping in mind the lessons we have learned during the past year and taking into account that this project still remains in development, we can't say with full certainty that the production schedule will not change."

The story is much the same for The Witcher 3's planned next-gen port, despite the effort being handled primarily by an external studio (Saber Interactive).

Hopefully, Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher 3 both see the release of their next-gen versions for Xbox Series X|S, PS5, and newer PC hardware, in the original release window. That being said, it's better to take the time to deliver a finished product than rush into another potential disaster. We'll keep an eye out for any further developments in this space.

Cyberpunk 2077 may have failed to deliver on its lofty promises at launch, but that doesn't stop it and (especially) The Witcher 3 from being some of the best Xbox games for RPG fans. The planned next-gen versions for both titles will hopefully elevate them even further.

Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer primarily focused on covering the latest news, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life, and have been with Windows Central and its sister sites since 2019. While originally brought on to write about all things Minecraft, Zachary has since expanded to write about practically everything that Windows Central covers. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.

  • The whole "gen" talk needs to go away. It's archaic. They're not making the game from scratch forna different hardware configuration. It's just assets and optimization. Imagine if it was like that on PC... That said, Xbox is handling it better than PS, at least they don't charge money for more pixels.
  • In this case, I think it's valid, because they need to add FSR support for ray tracing on Series X and PS5. That's not just a frame rate increase or better AA. This will probably then work its way back to the Windows version too.
  • Agree 100%. Xbox fans are eating good.
  • Not surprising at all. The game is still having trouble hitting 30 fps on last gen. I hope they take their time to properly optimize it for a smooth 60 fps on current gen.
  • Coming "soon" until further notice.
  • This seemed obvious
  • This makes me feel bad for Sony fans.
    Imagine paying 70$ for this disaster, and then paying again for DLC.