According to an industry insider, Cyberpunk 2077 was delayed to December due to pressure from Sony to make it a PlayStation 5 launch title.
CD Projekt Red (CDPR) today announced that the release date for Cyberpunk 2077 has been pushed back to December 10th, 21 days after it was originally supposed to release.
“Today we’ve decided to move the release date of Cyberpunk 2077 by 21 days. The new release date is December 10th, 2020,” CD Projekt Red (CDPR) announced on social media.
“The biggest challenge is for us right now is shipping the game on current-gen, next-gen and PC at the same time which requires us to prepare 9 test versions of it while working from home,” the developer added.
However, the main reason the game has been delayed until December is because Sony are “pressuring” CD Projekt Red into making the game available on launch on thei next-gen console, PlayStation 5.
“Blame Sony. Cyberpunk 2077 is ready to ship, and it has been for awhile. CDPR’s original plan was to release the game earlier this year on current-gen consoles and then offer a free upgrade to early adopters of the next-gen consoles,” the insider explained in an email.
“This would give CDPR the time to fine-tune the game for the next-gen release, but that just wasn’t good enough for Sony.”
“PlayStation 5’s backwards compatibility software is the real issue here. Xbox Series X owners can pick up the current-gen version on launch and play it no problems, but PlayStation owners would have to wait for the next-gen update to become available. So, the only way for them to properly enjoy the game would be on the PlayStation 4,” the source explained.
But the PlayStation 5 is backwards compatible… sorta
Sony did announce that “most” PlayStation 4 games will play on the next-gen console but some games might exhibit and lack certain gameplay functionality due to the fundamental difference in the consoles UI.
As for Cyberpunk 2077, Sony can not promise an optimal experience on launch as initially promised due to the limitations of backwards compatibility software.
Unlike the Xbox Series X, which offers backwards compatibility for all previous consoles, the next-gen update isn’t a simple enhancement patch but an entirely new game download.
“Rolling outa cross-generational game on the Xbox is just so much easier than it is on the PlayStation,” the insider said.
Updating to next-gen easier on Xbox
Johannes Kuhlmann — head of core technology at FishLabs — confirmed our source’s claims in an interview with Eurogamer earlier this year.
“I’ve got to say, the transition from coming from Xbox One to Xbox Series X was straightforward,” Kuhlmann said. “We felt right at home on the new devkit. There weren’t any particular challenges.
“You have way more freedom. You don’t have to worry about the framerate as much. You can instead crank it up to a higher framerate. In the end it’s easier to develop for Xbox Series X than any other console.”
Is it really Sony’s fault?
Sony has reportedly been pressuring CD Projekt Red (CDPR) into having the next-gen version of the game ready by the PlayStation 5 launch date but since the developer is currently not operating at full capacity due to lockdown that is next to impossible.
“Sony are concerned that this would impact sales of their next-gen console badly and are pretty much demanding that Cyberpunk 2077 be playable on the PlayStation 5 the same day is on their competitors console.”
CD Projekt Red’s own statement confirms this citing that, although the game has gone gold, the 0-day patch for the next-gen consoles is the real issue.
Just yesterday the developers of Cyberpunk 2077 reassured their fans that the November release date for the game would not change when a fan asked for a full confirmation, suggesting that the delay was forced by a third-party.
It is important to note that neither Sony nor CD Projekt Red have confirmed these allegations. We have though reached out to both parties for comment.
The good news is that Cyberpunk 2077 is still slated for a 2020 release so you will still be able to play during your Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate in December) break. So, if you’re still interested in playing it, don’t forget to pre-order your copy today.