‘The Witcher 3’ PS5 and Xbox Series X/S release date remains uncertain despite new ratings for next-gen consoles
“The Witcher 3” received a new rating for the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S consoles, starting a new round of speculations that its next-generation upgrade could be released soon. However, CD Projekt Red quickly dismissed assumptions that the updated rating hints at an imminent launch.
The Pan European Game Information, the official video game content rating board in the region, has updated the “The Witcher 3: Game of the Year Edition” to include PS5 and Xbox Series X/S in its supported platforms. PEGI also listed Oct. 19, 2021, as the release date for the next-gen versions, which explains why fans jumped to conclusions that the next-gen upgrades are going live soon.
The PS5 and Xbox Series versions of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt were rated in Europe today. More info likely coming soon. pic.twitter.com/6MWu9WFUZe— Gematsu (@gematsucom) October 19, 2021
In an apparent attempt to avoid any confusion or backlash from fans, CD Projekt Red quickly clarified that the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S versions of “The Witcher 3” are not launching this week. The developer explained that the PEGI update was only part of a standard procedure. PS5 and Xbox Series X/S are, technically, new platforms where the game can be played so they had to submit it again to the age classification board for these systems.“The date mentioned on PEGI's website is the rating's issue date,” a representative of the studio told GamesRadar+.
CD Projekt Red confirmed last July that the “The Witcher 3” upgrades would be available for free to everyone who has already purchased the game. The PEGI rating suggests other content included in the Game of The Year Edition will be upgraded for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S as well, such as the “Hearts of Stone” and “Blood and Wine” expansions.
During CD Projekt’s H1 2021 earnings result conference, the company’s VP of Business Development Michał Nowakowski the development of the “The Witcher 3” upgrades is a little different compared to the situation of “Cyberpunk 2077” as it is being handled by Saber Interactive. At the time, though, CD Projekt did not mention a release window for the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S versions of the game.
On the other hand, CD Projekt noted that the free next-gen upgrade for “Cyberpunk 2077” is planned to be released in late 2021. But after the game’s tumultuous launch, it is understandable that the company is careful in making promises about its launch date.
In a statement during the H1 2021 results call (via VGC), Nowakowski noted that they had learned their lessons from the "Cyberpunk 2077" launch and added that the game's next-gen upgrade is still in development. For these reasons, the company cannot promise if they can deliver the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S upgrades within the late 2021 launch window.