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CD Projekt Red on developing for PS4, Xbox One

by William Schwartz

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CD Projekt Red, the developer of the critical and commercial success The Witcher series, has been busy at work with developing The Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077.  With the impending launch of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, some have wondered how CD Projekt Red, primarily a PC developer, felt about developing for the PS4 and Xbox One. Their response might surprise you.

“On the PS4 it’s very good to have the fast memory,” said lead engine programmer Balázs Török, “everyone is really happy about that – but the problem is the game has to function on everything. No we are not holding it back, it’s just we are not at the stage right now to go in and optimise on each platform specifically. We want to make the game and the whole engine run on everything, with all the features and bells and whistles, and then just optimise, optimise, optimise. I don’t see a major power difference. The memory is very different but I already said that before. Pure computation power, if you just measure that, there’s no major difference.”

“The Xbox One is pretty easy to understand because not just the hardware is similar to the PC, but everything like the SDK, the API is really similar to what you would find on a PC. On PS4 this is a little bit more complicated, but I personally worked on PS3 before. For PS3 it was very important to have a community, to share the information in some ways, but for now it’s much easier and everyone will use their PC knowledge and possible previous console knowledge to reach the limit.”

In regards to other features like SmartGlass, Kinect, Move and the PS4 touchpad, CD Projekt Red indicated they were planning on using them for the Xbox One and PS4. “We’ve got Kinect support but it’s too early to speak about it,” said game director Konrad Tomaszkiewicz. “For sure we got some specific features for Xbox One and PS4. I can’t spoil much but yes we are thinking about it.”

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“We had a lot of discussions with platform holders about it,” studio head Adam Badowski added. “The feeling is simple: there are games for Move and Kinect, and there are games for standard controllers, and The Witcher [3] is definitely for standard controllers.

As for DualShock 4 touchpad support, “It’s interesting,” Badowski answered, “it helps, especially in the UI.”

Tomaszkiewicz also confirmed that there will be SmartGlass support in the Xbox One version of The Witcher 3. “Yes,” he said, “we are planning some stuff for it, but again it’s too early to really say much about it.”

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