With CD Projekt RED’s announcement that Cyberpunk 2077 will release on the current-gen Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles, the Polish studio has signaled its confidence that the current crop of consoles hasn't limited Cyberpunk 2077’s ambitions whatsoever.
Anything who’s cast even a cursory glance over the 40-minute Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay demo will be curious as to how the heck such a game is even possible on the five-year-old console hardware. At some point, major corners are probably going to have to be cut in terms of visuals. But in terms of current-gen hardware, CD Projekt RED isn’t feeling limited by it just yet.
“From the top, we knew we were developing the game for PC, PS4 and Xbox One,” explained CD Projekt RED’s Maciej Pietras, during an interview with CGMagOnline. “And we started the process of optimization right at the start. What you see running the demo is a PC with like an i7 and 1080TI, so it’s not astronomical specs. Basically, because we are thinking from scratch about optimization, how streaming works, how to introduce global illumination for instance without overwhelming the PC or the GPU. Now we take those things into account right at the start and optimize for that.”
The caveat here is that there’s a major gulf in performance between the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti and even the top-end Xbox One X. It’s a vastly more powerful GPU than the One X’s custom APU, despite the upgraded version of Microsoft’s console. It’s certainly going to be interesting to see what and how certain elements are cut in order to get Cyberpunk 2077 running on consoles, particularly at higher resolutions.
On that front, Pietras said “we are always finding new ways to use the new technical features that speed up the work and there are very low costs when it comes to the optimization part. And as I said, we have a team of programmers who are dedicated to working on optimization. Simply because of that, I don’t think we ever reached that point and said something is too costly based on hardware requirements. That did not happen yet. What we showed in the demo was running in real runtime so there’s nothing there that we were trying to hide.”
From the sounds of things, Cyberpunk 2077 looking every bit as good as it did in the demo is a distinct possibility on a top-end PC. However, there’s a long road to go between now and Cyberpunk’s eventual launch. The game is a work-in-progress, as CDPR was keen to point out at the beginning of the footage, and things do change.
Are you expecting a visual downgrade, a la The Witcher 3, between now and Cyberpunk 2077’s launch? How well do you think it’s going to look and run on console hardware, such as the original Xbox One?