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What to expect from ‘Cyberpunk 2077’ and ‘The Witcher 3’ next-gen updates

The long-awaited Cyberpunk 2077 next-gen update will hopefully transform the game we received into the game we expected. But what does that even look like?

The Cyberpunk 2077 next-gen update promises to deliver us the game that fans spent many, many years salivating over. We don’t need to go too deeply into the game’s troubled release history, but for the sake of clarity – the game that released in September 2020 was a massive disappointment.

Despite this troubled release, developer CD Projekt Red have made clear their intention to fix the game. The Cyberpunk 2077 next-gen update is critical to this goal, and the good news is that we have some new information regarding when it will be made available and what sorts of improvements we can expect.

cyberpunk 2077 next-gen
Image: Cyberpunk 2077 / CD Projekt Red

During an earnings call for CD Projekt Red’s 2021 Q3 financials some key information came to light; including what the developer wants to achieve with this update, and why it has taken so long to put together a next-gen update for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

So first things first, according to Adam Kiciński, president of CD Projekt Red, “the development of both next-gen games is on track to meet their target dates“. This means that the Cyberpunk 2077 next-gen update should come to us in the first quarter of 2022, with the The Witcher 3‘s update following in the second.

Kiciński explained that Cyberpunk 2077 is currently in the testing phase, and that the company are aware fans won’t accept anything other than a game in “very good shape“. Despite using this assertion to justify the lengthy wait, he went on to say:

…the next-gen version includes graphical updates… that exploit the potential of the new consoles, along with a set of system-level improvements – I’m talking about systems which are general; it’s not a revolution, but still, they interact with other systems so we have to be sure there’s no regression whatsoever.

Essentially, expect the Cyberpunk 2077 next-gen update to look a bit nicer and run a little quicker, anything more than that may result in further disappointment.

the witcher 3 next-gen
Image: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt / CD Projekt Red

The Witcher 3 next-gen update, which is being developed by Saber Interactive, will also reportedly be a technical upgrade first and foremost, although “a small pack of DLCs” will be included.

While this news is unlikely to recreate the kind of excitement CD Projekt Red courted when they first released either game, it is perhaps reassuring to see them being realistic. Ambition is great, but there is a fine line between an enthusiastic fool and a snake oil salesman.