That's according to CD Projekt, the parent company of Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red, which suggested during a recent earnings call (via VGC (opens in new tab)) that, while the game will still release in September and will be available on Xbox Series X "from the get-go", an enhanced, next-gen version will be released at a later date.
“In terms of Microsoft’s console, like I said, 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,” CD Projekt SVP of business development Michal Nowakowski said during the call.
“However, when it comes to a proper, full-blown next-gen version, that’s going to come later, we haven’t announced when and I don’t have a new comment here on that."
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It all makes sense now
So far, Cyberpunk 2077 has only officially been confirmed for Xbox Series X. CD Projekt Red previously confirmed that Cyberpunk 2077 will make use of the Series X's Smart Delivery feature, offering players the chance to upgrade their Xbox One version of Cyberpunk 2077 to an Xbox Series X version for free – and now that decision makes a bit more sense.
A CD Projekt Red spokesperson has confirmed to VGC that the “full-blown next-gen version” Nowakowski referred to is the previously announced Xbox Series X upgrade. That leads us to wonder whether this Smart Delivery feature has been implemented, as more games will need to take similar measures to game their games cross-gen.
But what about Sony? CD Projekt seemed to suggest during the earnings call that Cyberpunk 2077 will be coming to PS5 – we can't see why it wouldn't – but that the company is waiting for Sony to make the announcement first.
“There’s no official announcement coming from PlayStation so we really can’t confirm or deny anything,” Nowakowski said. “It’s PlayStation that first needs to address these issues and then we’re happy to make a comment, but we can’t jump the gun ahead of them.”
But if CD Projekt Red is planning to release an upgraded version of Cyberpunk 2077 for next-gen consoles, and is planning to release on PS5, then Sony would likely need a feature similar to Smart Delivery to implement this – as it appears this patch is more than a simple update, and is instead a full-blown upgrade.
We can only speculate, but it would explain why Sony has held off confirming that the game is coming, perhaps until it itself reveals a forwards-compatibility feature.
It also means that it could be worth fans holding out until the "proper, full-blown next-gen" edition is out – whenever that will be.
Cyberpunk 2077 is reportedly still on track for its September 17 release date. However, due to closures of recording studios related to the Covid-19 pandemic, some voice work may need to be added to the game via a launch-day patch.
Earlier this week, CD Projekt Red confirmed that Cyberpunk 2077 will have “no less DLC than The Witcher 3 had" (via VGC (opens in new tab)). This DLC will be announced before the game's release.