Forget GTA V: The Witcher 3 Just Nailed the Next-Gen Upgrade

CD Projekt Red announces free upgrade to next-gen version of The Witcher 3 and yet again schools other devs with its player-friendly policies.
The Witcher 3, The Witcher 3 next-gen
Gaming's good guys CD Projekt Red are at it again and are working on two games for your next-gen gaming experience. | Source: CDPR
  • Developer CD Projekt Red has announced an enhanced edition of The Witcher 3 heading for the next-gen consoles and PC.
  • It will release as a standalone game and as a free upgrade for all existing owners of PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
  • CD Projekt Red continues to school other devs, notably Rockstar, with its player-friendly policies.

While CD Projekt Red is busy putting the finishing touches on Cyberpunk 2077 after yet another delay pushed its release to November, the Polish developer has been hard at work preparing next-gen ports for its acclaimed 2015 action-RPG, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

Today, CD Projekt Red announced an enhanced version of The Witcher 3 heading to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X alongside PC, designed to take advantage of the latest powerful hardware to inject some new life into Geralt of Rivia’s adventures across the Continent.

The Witcher 3
Free upgrade for existing owners. | Source: Twitter

According to a statement shared by the developer, the next-generation edition of The Witcher 3 will feature a raft of visual and technical improvements, including speedier loading times and ray tracing, and HDR for PC. These will arrive ready and packaged not just for the base game but also for both the ‘Hearts of Stone’ and ‘Blood and Wine’ expansions and all other DLC content.

As CD Projekt Red explains, the next-gen The Witcher 3 will release as a standalone purchase on all three platforms and as a free update for all existing owners of the game on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

The developer also confirmed to Kotaku that the update will function with any physical or digital copy of The Witcher 3, including both the original and Game of the Year editions. None of this double-dipping nonsense to secure a next-gen upgrade we’ve seen from the likes of Remedy Entertainment and Control, explained away by the complexity of bringing an upgrade to all versions of the game.

The Witcher 3
Players slam Remedy for Control next-gen upgrade policy. | Source: Reddit

CD Projekt stopped short of sharing a specific release date in keeping with most games heading to the next-gen consoles.

Next-Gen GTA V, The Witcher 3 Contrast

There’s been no shortage of next-gen editions of current-gen titles announced – Destiny 2, Fortnite, Control, and even Rockstar Games’ timeless cash cow Grand Theft Auto V, to name a few.

In contrast, GTA V next-gen proposition isn’t quite as appealing as CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher 3 effort. Indeed, the reaction labeled the move as yet another cash grab as Rockstar straddles yet another console generation to squeeze even more from its legacy-defining open-world crime sim.

Xbox
Reactions pinpoint the different between the two approaches to next-gen versions. | Source: Twitter
Xbox
‘Greedy’ Rockstar to re-release GTA V on third console generation. | Source: Twitter

While the new version will feature the now-familiar promised visual upgrades and performance enhancements, there’s no mention of a free upgrade for existing owners. Instead, Rockstar has wrangled a timed exclusivity deal on PS5, that will see a free standalone copy of GTA Online handed out to console owners within three months of the game’s launch.

Of course, we can’t discount Rockstar announcing a free update further down the line, but if the re-released PS4/Xbox One version of GTA V serves as any indication of what might happen, expect Rockstar to demand full price for the pleasure.

The Witcher 3
Fans aren’t holding back when it comes to most publisher upgrade policies. | Source: Reddit

Once again, CD Projekt Red schools other developers with its player-friendly policies and has given us another excellent reason to invest in a next-gen console.

Samburaj Das edited this article for CCN.com. If you see a breach of our Code of Ethics or find a factual, spelling, or grammar error, please contact us.

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