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Cyberclunk? Cyberpunk 2077 Fails to Impress on Consoles

Cyberpunk 2077 Console Versions with Strikethrough
(Image credit: Microsoft and Sony)

After seven long years of anticipation, Cyberpunk 2077 is finally out, and so far we’ve had the opportunity to benchmark it on PC and play it on Stadia. Our impressions of the game’s performance have been generally positive so far, but these aren’t the only platforms the game is on. The game’s PS4 and Xbox One versions are also out today, but aside from two short gameplay videos, developer CD Projekt Red hadn’t given press any access to the game on console. Now that the game’s officially launched, though, we’re starting to see reports hit social media from all over, and the results are concerning. 

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Until now, all we had seen of Cyberpunk's console versions were a few sequences of pre-recorded gameplay running on the Xbox One X, PS4 Pro, Xbox Series X and PS5. The version in these videos was technically built for current-gen consoles, with a proper next-gen update slated for next year, though the base versions of the PS4 and Xbox One were mysteriously absent from these videos. If reports starting to come out from players are to be believed, though, we might now know why. 

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Videos are starting to hit Twitter that show the game running on the base PS4 and Xbox One, and they’re filled with muddy textures, flat surfaces, heavy pixelization, crashes and plenty of unreactive or buggy AI.
 

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We’ve also seen complaints that the game runs in 720p on the base PS4 and Xbox One, with frequent dips below 30fps.

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There’s a caveat to some of these user complaints, however. While Cyberpunk 2077 launched on December 10th in the US, we first started seeing footage of the game running on base consoles hit American social media on December 9th, which means that the users behind those posts may have adjusted their time zones to access it early. This means that some of them might not have been playing with Cyberpunk’s supposedly extensive day-one patch. While CD Projekt Red ensures that the game should automatically have the patch applied if you preloaded it, Ethan Gach of Kotaku said that when he attempted to play Cyberpunk early by adjusting his time zone, his copy was stuck on a pre-patch version with no option to download updates. This persisted even after re-downloading the game from scratch.

But certain post-patch members of the press are having a bad time, too. Speaking to Eurogamer, Tom Morgan of Digital Foundry said “Cyberpunk 2077 on PS4 looks very blurry, running between 720p and 900p resolution, and the framerate for any driving around the big city areas is constantly at around 20 [fps].”

He also said that he experienced frequent hiccups and texture pop-in issues. Most of these issues went away by playing on the PS5, despite the console version out now being branded for current-gen consoles, but Morgan said that glitches like T-posing persisted.

Because of these issues, and because CD Projekt Red did not provide us a console copy of the game, we here at Tom’s Hardware haven't yet tried it. However, Tom’s Hardware freelance contributor Kieth Mitchell told us that he also experienced “low frame rate and resolution” on his base PS4, though these issues went away when playing on the PS4 Pro.

To be fair to Cyberpunk 2077, this is a 2020 game running on 2013 hardware, which some of the game’s fans have pointed out on social media. Others, however, are posting counterexamples of similar high-fidelity recent open world games that run much more smoothly on base current generation consoles.

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Regardless, what we can say is that while the versions being sold for console right now are branded for the PS4 and the Xbox One, it might not be worth buying them unless you have a PS5 or Xbox Series X. For now, at least.

  • TechyInAZ
    I think this brings up a good question; was really worth it to bring the game to previous-gen consoles, or maybe limit the game to the Pro consoles instead (and Xbox equivalent). While I know game companies want to reach out to the massive population still running the base consoles, I wonder if it is really worth it, to only give them a barely playable expereince.
    Reply
  • Phaaze88
    Well, when enough people demand things without thinking it through... I guess things like this happen.

    What the heck were those folks on older hardware expecting exactly? Those consoles are around 7 years old...
    Reply
  • emike09
    TechyInAZ said:
    I think this brings up a good question; was really worth it to bring the game to previous-gen consoles, or maybe limit the game to the Pro consoles instead (and Xbox equivalent). While I know game companies want to reach out to the massive population still running the base consoles, I wonder if it is really worth it, to only give them a barely playable expereince.
    I personally believe they should have left it to PC and next-gen consoles, but with the inability to buy next gen consoles or GPUs, it would have really hurt their sales, especially if they wanted to get the game out for the holidays. So I support it being on old hardware. But man, can you imagine how much more polished and efficient the game would have been if they didn't have to support such old hardware?
    Reply
  • spongiemaster
    TechyInAZ said:
    I think this brings up a good question; was really worth it to bring the game to previous-gen consoles, or maybe limit the game to the Pro consoles instead (and Xbox equivalent).
    I'm pretty sure Sony and MS required all games released needed to support the base models of the consoles, so there couldn't be a PS4 Pro only game.
    Reply
  • hotaru251
    TechyInAZ said:
    I think this brings up a good question; was really worth it to bring the game to previous-gen consoles, or maybe limit the game to the Pro consoles instead (and Xbox equivalent). While I know game companies want to reach out to the massive population still running the base consoles, I wonder if it is really worth it, to only give them a barely playable expereince.
    Nintendo did this.
    for some games they required the NEW 3ds.

    its not the best choice, but better to do that than release a gaem thats actually bad visually or performance based.
    Reply
  • bigdragon
    I expected the performance on PS4 and XBO to be terrible. Those consoles are obsolete and have been for years. CDPR should have focused on the PS5 and XBS, but those are getting scalped just as bad as GPUs. Looks like a no-win situation to me. I'm sure Cyberpunk will eventually be great -- it's just going to take months/years just like Witcher 3 did.

    hotaru251 said:
    Nintendo did this.
    for some games they required the NEW 3ds.

    its not the best choice, but better to do that than release a gaem thats actually bad visually or performance based.
    Yes, Nintendo did that. Yes, I was irritated about it, skipped those games, and didn't upgrade my 3DS. Nintendo absolutely proved that having games exclusive to a mid-cycle console refresh was a bad idea. Just release a successor console.
    Reply
  • cryoburner
    Phaaze88 said:
    Well, when enough people demand things without thinking it through... I guess things like this happen.

    What the heck were those folks on older hardware expecting exactly? Those consoles are around 7 years old...
    To be fair, we are talking about a game that had a teaser trailer released nearly a year before those consoles even came out. : P
    Reply
  • RodroX
    When you see a PC pre-launch performance review on which todays top hardware is only good enough for the game, it kinda makes sense the game in question will play pretty poorly on PS4 and XBO.
    Reply
  • Mandark
    Yes but it doesn’t even run on the Xbox one you get so far into it and it just crashes every time you start it up

    I kept telling my son not to buy until he had a new Xbox probably by next year but he never listens to me he said it’s cross compatible and now it doesn’t even work
    Reply
  • RodroX
    Mandark said:
    Yes but it doesn’t even run on the Xbox one you get so far into it and it just crashes every time you start it up

    I kept telling my son not to buy until he had a new Xbox probably by next year but he never listens to me he said it’s cross compatible and now it doesn’t even work

    Perhaps with time developers can make it work a bit better, or in your case to at least make it start properly.
    Reply