The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is coming to next-generation consoles. And anyone who already owns it will be able to get the update at no charge, developer CD Projekt Red revealed Friday.
CD Projekt Red has been quietly working on an upgrade to The Witcher 3 that will feature faster loading times and ray tracing, a rendering technique that creates images using paths of light, creating more realistic visuals, the company said on Friday. Once its work is complete, the upgrade will land on both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5.
CD Projekt Red didn’t say when the game will launch on next-generation hardware, but it did say that the updates will come to the base game, expansion packs, and “all extra content.” Most importantly, if players already own a copy of the game on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, or PC, they’ll be eligible to get the next-generation upgrade for free. Those who don’t own a copy by the time the title launches will be able to buy it for their desired hardware.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt hit store shelves in 2015. The game is an action-adventure role-playing title that follows the stories told in The Witcher fantasy novels. The game has earned rave reviews and a Metacritic score of 92 out of 100. Two subsequent expansion packs, Heart of Stone and Blood and Wine, were similarly well-received when they launched in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
Given the game’s popularity, it makes sense for CD Projekt Red to generate additional revenue on next-generation hardware. But offering it for free to current owners also makes for an enticing model that other developers could use to keep older games fresh — and players playing their games.
Microsoft has been the loudest in pushing developers to bring current-generation titles to new hardware and has been championing its Smart Delivery service to facilitate that. Though Smart Delivery, players who already have a copy of a game on current hardware can automatically get the next-generation version on the Xbox Series X when it launches. It’s still unknown how many developers will use the platform after the Xbox Series X arrives.
Microsoft plans to launch its new hardware in November, and Sony has said the PlayStation 5 will be available this holiday season. Look for The Witcher 3 to land on those consoles soon after.
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