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What the Tech: Cyberpunk 2077 might just kill off this console generation for good

Cyberpunk 2077 has just launched to acclaim, but it’s underlined the gap between the current and next-generation consoles like never before.

Cyberpunk 2077 finally arrived on December 10, and in many ways it’s exactly what fans had hoped for. In what other game can you get into underground fighting tournaments, hit up an uncensored Red Light District, or take on cyberpsychos in the Badlands? In what other game can you customise every aspect of your body, right down to pubic hair styling? And more importantly, how many other games feature Keanu Reeves? It’s not exactly a tough sell.

Read more: What is the weirdest thing you can do in Cyberpunk 2077?

But despite the painfully long eight-month delay to release date, while hard-working developers toiled behind the scenes to perfect the game, it hasn’t come without its problems, and no-where has that been more obvious than its disastrous debut on PS4 and Xbox One. 

In hindsight it was a telling sign when only the PC version of the game was made available to journalists ahead of the launch, rather than across different platforms. But bothersome bugs, flickering frames, and game-breaking glitches have marred the experience for thousands of gamers, while in a strange turn-up for the books, it appears that Google’s much-maligned Stadia platform may actually be one of the best ways to play the new game.

The PS5 and Xbox Series X have not been without problems – a few glitches here and there are a fact of life for day-one titles – but they seem to have escaped relatively unscathed from the game-breaking issues that have caused misery to previous-gen players.

More than that however, the release has showcased the brilliant new graphical innovations that the new consoles provide, and set them head-and-shoulders above their predecessors. Ray-tracing, which implements pin-sharp lighting contrasts, makes the environment even more immersive, which is exactly what you want from a fully-realised world like Cyberpunk that’s rich in lore and has a dystopian atmosphere so thick you could choke on it.

In the early months after a console release, you might feel that you can get away without upgrading. After all, the new games are usually still available on the old machines, the shiny new consoles are prohibitively expensive, and not all of your friends may have switched over yet for online multiplayer.

However, the game-breaking problems on one hand and the eye-popping advances on the other, have thrown this dilemma into stark relief; the choice is even more consequential than the ‘hard’ choice between Penis 1 and Penis 2 in the character creation stage of Cyberpunk 2077.

Now it seems that the old consoles are already being left behind, and given the fantastic backwards compatibility of both Microsoft’s and Sony’s new offerings, it’s probably a good time to jump on the new bandwagon as it rolls round. How to get your hands on one, now that the pre-Christmas plague of locusts has ravaged the shop shelves – well that’s another question entirely.

 

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