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Cyberpunk 2077's HDR is broken on PS5 and Xbox Series X — what to do next

Cyberpunk 2077 keanu reeves
(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

Cyberpunk 2077 is suffering from yet another problem, this time with what appears to be a faulty implementation of high dynamic range (HDR) to that list.

Players have noticed that Cyberpunk’s HDR is far from functional, with poor contrast and muted and diluted colors. And the problem isn't constrained to one platform either, affecting the game on PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC.

A video from HDTVTest shows the poor HDR implementation in stark clarity, regardless of what setting players use. The video even shows how there's a lack of true black on OLED TVs that can normally deliver deep black shades. 

In fact HDTVTest suggested that HDR is more like upscaled SDR, rather than rendering a true HDR, and not a particularly good implementation of upscaling either. 

The problem could stem from Cyberpunk 2077 being a cross-generation game, and running in a backward compatibility mode on the PS5 and Xbox Series X. An optimized version is coming next year, so that could solve the HDR problem. But it doesn't explain poor HDR for Cyberpunk 2077 on the PC. 

The PS5 and Xbox Series X will output in HDR by default; this can be disabled at a console level in the settings. And in Cyberpunk 2077 there's an additional HDR toggle in the settings, which HDTV test recommends keeping that switched off, as SDR is currently offering the better experience.

This HDR problem is another to be added to the long list of problems people have been experiencing with the game since it launched last week. The biggest issue, of course, is that the game is a mess on the original Xbox One and PS4 consoles, to the point where the game is basically unplayable. 

Likewise PS5 and PS4 owners have to wait longer to download the game’s extensive Day One Patch, because the file size is almost double that of the Xbox Series X's and PC's download. 

There have been a slew of other frustrating bugs and glitches flagged by players, so much so that developer CD Projekt Red has been offering refunds to those who want one.

If you were on the fence about picking up Cyberpunk 2077, our advice is to wait a bit. The game is clearly in need of some work, so you’re better off waiting several months so they can be ironed out.