A PS5 and Xbox Series X “next-generation” update for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was announced back in early 2021, with the idea of modernizing one of the best games ever for the latest games console hardware, as well as powerful gaming PC graphics.
But the touted end of 2021 release date came and went, seemingly suffering from the same update delays as Cyberpunk 2077, which had a terrible launch and is only more recently in a somewhat stable state. Now developer CD Projekt Red has announced that the update for The Witcher 3 will finally come at the fourth quarter of 2022, having slipped from a second quarter release as the developer focused on polishing Cyberpunk 2077.
While the announcement posts on The Witcher's Twitter account (opens in new tab) got a fair bit of snark from what appear to be impatient fans, I'm just grateful that this so-called next-gen update is coming at all.
After Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt Red lost a huge amount of the sheen on its premier developer status, with plenty of people feeling a little cooler on the developer’s announcements and ambitions. And the backlash to Cyberpunk 2077 and some of its patch delays gave me the impression that any extra updates to The Witcher 3 may have been shelved.
Add into the mix that a new Witcher game is being worked on, and I’d started to lose faith in a new version of what’s probably my favorite game of all time.
But maybe I reacted too soon, as an update is still in the works, and that’s put a smile on my face. While I still think The Witcher 3 looks fantastic today, I’d not be against it getting a graphics update, and it’s one of the reasons I’ve not played the Hearts of Stone DLC, as I’m waiting to some fresh content to greet me on my eventual return to The Witcher 3.
Ideally, CD Projekt Red could add in some extra content, say some new quests or areas to explore; I feel that would certainly win back some developer kudos. But even if it doesn't, I’d still be thrilled to go back to the likes of Velen, Novigrad, Skellige and Kaer Morhen with the benefit of boosted resolution and frame rate, maybe some ray tracing thrown in for good measure.
After all, The Witcher 3 is a stunning game set in a deep world packed with things to explore, a great story that can be influenced in a myriad of subtle ways, and some excellent characters. The combat isn't perfect, but hunting down and slaying monsters still feels fresh today.
If you’ve not played The Witcher 3, then it’s available on Xbox Game Pass. But I’d casually suggest you wait if you have new of the new consoles or one of our best gaming PCs, as The Witcher 3 is a game best experienced in all its graphical glory. And if that means waiting to the end of the year, I’d say it could be worth it.
Besides, with the delay of Starfield and Redfall, and Elden Ring and Horizon Forbidden West already out, having a game to look forward to this winter is definitely a boon. For games to play right now, check out our best Xbox Series X games and best PS5 games.