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Cyberpunk 2077 is proof Halo Infinite should skip the Xbox One

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

Cyberpunk 2077 is finally here, seven long years after its debut trailer. When Cyberpunk 2077 was first announced, the Xbox One was brand-new and exciting,but it's taken the entire console generation for the game to actually come out. Was it worth it?

Our reviewer, Jez Corden, certainly thinks so, putting it up there with the greatest games ever made. But all reviews were handled on PC, and as the console versions have unlocked, there are a lot of people who aren't very happy with it at all.

Cyberpunk 2077 has endured some lengthy delays, just like Microsoft's own Halo Infinite, now pushed back at least a year. And based on the Cyberpunk 2077 launch, some real questions should be asked over putting it on the Xbox One at all.

Now, more than ever, a decision has to be made: Halo Infinite should not be released on the Xbox One for the sake of the fans, the money they're going to spend on it, and the time they will invest. Some people may disagree, but it's ultimately for the best.

What's going on with Cyberpunk 2077?

Cyberpunk 2077 Bar

Source: CD Projekt S.A. (Image credit: Source: CD Projekt S.A.)

In short, Cyberpunk 2077 is a mess. CDPR will no doubt issue patches and address the issues as best they can, but this game is massive and it's clear that the base Xbox One and PS4 simply cannot keep up.

Masters of console analysis, Digital Foundry, have released their early findings and they makes for grim reading. They're yet to report on Xbox One specifically, but the base PS4 sees frame rates as low as 15 FPS, with a seemingly constant 20 FPS when driving around the massive Night City. Hitching and pop-in are frequent partners to frame drops, too. Many players say the game is essentially unplayable.

And let's not forget that the base PS4 had a slight raw performance edge, so it's not like the Xbox One is going to be substantially better. When you're hearing that the hottest game of the game is "very blurry," it's not a good look. The truth is pretty simple: the old consoles can't cut it anymore.

The base consoles were already holding back the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One X. Cyberpunk 2077 was developed through the life cycle of these consoles, and it's still this bad.

Halo Infinite has already been criticised for looking rough

Halo Infinite

Source: MicrosoftRemember this guy? (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

Sure, Halo Infinite now isn't coming out until the back end of 2021, so there's plenty of time to get it right. But based on the showcase earlier this year and the ensuing memes, is launching on Xbox One really something Microsoft can afford to do?

By the time Halo Infinite launches, the Xbox Series X and Series S will have been on sale for at least a year. There's every likelihood that Halo Infinite will look and play amazingly well on the new consoles. Everything about them is better. Cyberpunk 2077 hasn't even been patched for Series X yet but still seems to hit a consistent 60-ish FPS because the performance mode paired with the sheer horsepower allows for it.

But the story goes back to the base Xbox One. This console had already been holding back the Xbox One X, because all Xbox One games had to be on both. Towards the end of the console generation, it felt that we were starting to miss out on what could have been because of the older, weaker console.

Halo Infinite has already endured a troubled birth. Can Microsoft really afford to take the risk of low frame rates, poor textures and low resolution, coupled with the arduous loading times the old consoles have, when it pushes out arguably its most important new game in years?

I don't think it's worth it.

New-gen or bust

Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S

Source: Matt Brown | Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Matt Brown | Windows Central)

As much as it hurts to say it, the Xbox One family is dead and should be cut loose before it starts to do more harm than good to reputations and to the enjoyment people are getting from games. What's the point in spending money on a game you won't enjoy because the hardware you have just can't handle it?

PC gamers have had to fight with this forever. You can try every trick in the book, but sometimes you just have to admit defeat and either not play or upgrade your hardware.

Gaming has changed, and it's admirable that as the new generation of consoles launched, Microsoft committed to getting games cross-gen and without extra charge. But a time will have to come, as it did with previous new consoles, where the old ones simply have to stop getting new releases. I'd argue no new AAA games should target Xbox One and PS4, but Microsoft should take a stand and begin with Halo Infinite.

Is it worth chancing bad press and bad reviews? Especially in a game that is, apparently, the future of Halo for the next decade? No experience is better than a bad experience.

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

  • Or console game developers need to learn a new paradigm, the same paradigm that they have been using for years on PC. I have no doubt that some titles simply won't be backwards compatible due to developer choices, the same as occurs when they set a minimum hardware level on PC. Perhaps the platforms need to be more flexible on the development side, maybe game devs need new skills (or given the quality of the games at launch lately, better skills).
    Whatever the case, this drum beat that somehow consoles, which are just locked down, specialized PCs at this point, are so drastically different from the PC that backwards compatibility one generation is just a bridge too far needs a reality check. Just because something is hard or requires more effort doesn't mean it's impossible.
  • I agree. It's lazy, unskilled developers behind the reason why Cyberpunk 2077 won't run on a GTX 780. I deserve to have every new game look and run perfectly, even on seven-year-old hardware!
  • By your own logic games released at the end of the console life cycle should be virtually unplayable because 7+ year old hardware. Care to have a look at Steam's hardware and software reports?
  • Which makes me wonder how this "news outlet" could give it a 5/5 rating when it is sucks on consoles. It doesn't matter how great a vision a game is when a game is unplayable. Almost every review I have seen talks about how good the story is but almost always includes how awful the bugs are. If it were EA, we wouldn't give them this kind of grace. We lambasted AC: Unity for its bugs despite it being one of the most ambitious, and honestly, best additions to the franchise from a story perspective. Yet Cyberpunk gets a 5/5 despite being an essentially non-release on consoles.
  • I thought it was at least playable on the console, that is why it released. Some people have higher tolerances of what they can play than others. Most console gamers probably aren't even bothered by dropped frames and other studders in frame rates. Hell, you still have people on 720p (or less!) screens out there and could care less.
  • I disagree. The premise of this piece is that it is unplayable on consoles.
  • The review like every other review on the internet that released at that time was done on PC.
  • That is the exact point though... THIS reviewer finds it unplayable. Others may have no issues.
  • Well in all fairness I'm lucky I have an Xbox Series X I can use... It's not some big conspiracy against the OG Xbox. Just go look on Twitter/Reddit.
  • It is not for every user buggy even on the ps4. I think it is related to deteriorated hardware (probably the storage / hdd). I have not read Unity reviews but usually when games are buggy it is related to other things (like outdated drivers, engine issues or buggy code). In hindsight CD Projekt maybe should have better tested but it does also seem like a difficult thing to think off beforehand, I do not think it is necessarily laziness in contrast to e.g. buggy ports.
  • The problem is that they're trying to make Halo Infinite an open-world game. Halo 5 ran and looked great on the Xbox One and it was as a Halo game should be--linear and focused. Infinite should've been the same way. This trend of trying to turn everything into an open-world game needs to end. It didn't work in Gears of War 5 either. Not every game needs to be Minecraft.
  • Disagree. Gears 5 was great and the open sections were fine. Your opinion is yours for sure, but not remotely close to the only one
  • Just starting Gears 5 now (at the snow area) at I have to agree it works fine. There's certainly a balance though.
  • Thank you for saying the blunt truth. This is a full next gen game trying to be shoehorned into now ancient hardware that in the area of the CPU was underpowered to begin with. People talk about scaling in the world of the PC and yea that is true but even hardware there get left behind eventually. Show me a PC specd from 2013 and you'll see my point, Heck I bet gaming PC's from 2015-2016 will struggle with this game unless everything is turned to the minimum. One last point. Is anyone here still using their smartphone from 2013? I doubt it.
  • I still use an Dell XPS 15 from 2012, fitted with an i7. In fact the only thing this machine struggles with is modern high graphics games, so it will happily play things like World of Warships, with few compromise, compared with my much higher spec. desktop there's little difference apart from the graphics quality suffers, but if you get absorbed with a game the graphics are secondary and you don't really notice whilst playing. Away from gaming, there's nothing the Dell suffers from, quite happy using all modern desktop apps, visual studio and SQL server - the biggest issue is the rubber coating on the keyboard surround starting to get sticky. As a programmer, it's been a long time since you were forced to upgrade for anything more than 'improved' graphics, if you buy a reasonably high spec laptop/PC for none gaming activities, then it's only hardware failure that will force a new purchase, long gone are the days when the next generation PC would allow you to compile in 30 mins instead of 6 hours (my first work PC upgrade did that :-O ).
  • World of Warships is hardly a comparable game. It's long running FTP microtransaction title that is designed to be playable on a large range of machines. I could name a hundred other games that would make your machine choke easily. Try again.
  • I think that's the point though, there are games that are designed to run on various range of machine config, especially for more mainstream, non gaming class PC's. Yet these games can actually look great, at least based on their art style. But yeah machine from few years ago can still play most games. It's only the AAA titles with a demanding graphical requirements will mostly be a struggle on older hardware. Since they use so much visual fx, higher rendering quality, and higher res textures, now we have Ray Tracing which is only possible for GPUs that are design for real time Ray Tracing. In this last gen console, it's really time to move on from them for newer AAA games. Since most of them really pushing the boundery on graphical fidelity. There is only so much you can optimise.
  • it's not that it's on older hardware. it's that the developer couldn't just focus on perfecting the game on that hardware. look at Gears 5. xbox one only and it shines graphically.
  • The underpowered cpu's is a good point. Scaling down graphics for weaker graphic cards is somewhat easy but for cpu's it is harder because it is often related to things that influence gameplay directly (number of AI to name an example). Only easy solution (aside from a few minor graphic tweaks) seems to set fps to max 30 or lower the resolution (which also helps to reduce cpu load).
    That being, the cpu is not the issue for Cyberpunk I think (the slow loading in of textures seem to point to slow/deteriorated hdd or such).
  • Not quite, the GTX 1080 was released in 2016 and it can handle this game at 1080P. You obviously won't be pushing ultra settings, but you will get decent performance and visuals so long as you don't expect 4K.
  • Now it's too late for that, the game was made from the ground up for the X1, so the basics won't change.
  • Exactly... as was the case with Cyberpunk. The point is moot.
  • Flight Sim won't be coming out on Xbox One it seems, only Series X|S. So I'd say there's a very real point to be made.
  • Yeah, but is that really the same? Flight Sim was built from the ground up for high end PCs and is getting ported over, not targeting older base consoles as a baseline from the start. Though I guess you can say they did the same with this game for target specs, but it wasn't like development was concurrent.
  • I don't think that prior gen hardware has to be excluded, but many people are not swift enough to understand next gen games won't look or play as well on older hardware. This discussion is really no different than two PC players with PCs with vastly differently powered PCs. The higher powered one will generally always play thing smoother and with higher resolution
  • The problem is that people tend to expect a game to be playable on their hardware if it is released for their hardware. If the consensus is that a game is unplayable or at least unenjoyable on an older console then it is reasonable that it not be released for that console. That will free up the developers to spend more time making it better on other hardware and also save a lot of people with older hardware the inconvenience of buying the game, only to find that they cannot play it in a manner that they would find enjoyable.
  • I had pre-ordered Cyberpunk 2077 a few months ago because I HAD to burn the about to expire MS Store Credit, I got as an apology for them axing Cortana on my Harman Kardon Invoke in Januar 2021, and boy did I NOT like what I saw when I fired up the game... Didn't even make it past the Combat Training section after the Bar scene before I threw the towel and requested a refund which Microsoft honoured with making a fuzz about. I'll most likely be getting the game somewhere later down the road once everything has been soothed out and I've finally managed to get my hands on an RTX 3080 GPU at MSRP prices...
  • We're tech nerds on a tech site. We notice things like resolution and frame rate, 80% of consumers don't know any better. Nintendo Switch is the second most popular system in the world and every AAA ports looks terrible compared to even the OG Xbox One. Most people don't care about graphics, only gameplay.
  • Cyberpunk was designed PC first in mind, which is why even the latest consoles have to wait for a quality upgrade patch down the road. Halo Infinite is a first party title with console priorities. While I agree that it's probably best to play on a newer console or PC I don't think comparing it to Cyberpunk is makes sense. It's like an apples and oranges comparison.
  • This shouldn't be a yes/no answer based on the Cyberpunk situation but more a cautionary tale. QA needs to work overtime throughout the development to ensure that the One hardware can provide for an acceptable experience for Infinite. If it can't, that's when the conversation should happen. Can they make the appropriate adjustments or would that compromise what they're trying to accomplish too much? If it's too much of a compromise, then they should drop support for legacy hardware. This seems to be where Cyberpunk dropped the ball. If the experience on Xbox One is so bad, they should have had this kind of conversation. Alternatively, they could have released it on PC alone until they patched the console versions but they didn't. This all seems like a project management fail more than anything.
  • "Cyberpunk 2077 is proof Halo Infinite should skip the Xbox One" A reactionary point of view that should not be seriously considered. 1. Halo: Infinite is a first party title designed specifically for Xbox, whereas Cyberpunk 2077 is a PC game first, console second, and with Xbox clearly the second priority for console development (CDPR just released a patch for PC and PS, while Xbox gamers have to wait). The circumstances surrounding the development of these two games could not be more different. 2. CDPR is not a studio that doesn't care about their customers. It will ultimately fix this game to the point that it will run acceptably on all supported platforms, including the base Xbox One. These launch issues--and the rationale behind this editorial--will be a distant memory by the time Halo: Infinite launches.
  • A question I have for Richard:
    Wasn't Cyberpunk 2077 announced and started pretty early (or at least midway) in the XB1/PS4 lifecycle? How could they not support those consoles?
    Did they have a crystal ball for the future XSX|S and PS5 hardware specs?
    How is Red Dead Redemption 2 running on XB1? How is Gears 5 running on XB1?
    Heck even the Witcher 3 by CDPR themselves runs pretty well on the OG XB1 and PS4.
    I think the developers are just not squeezing out the best of these machines anymore. I find a good analogy with comparing the performance of an Electron app with a C/C++ compiled app. Same hardware, vastly different performance results for a given task.
  • I'm sorry, but this is the dumbest hot take ever.
  • MS has much more experience with games for consoles than CD Projekt has, it is not really warning shot in that sense.