Cyberpunk 2077 was, once again, the highlight of the yearly Electronic Entertainment Expo. Not only the game got the release date announcement (April 16th, 2020, in case you haven't already circled your calendars), they also revealed Keanu Reeves to be a character in the game (Johnny Silverhand from Cyberpunk lore) with the popular actor himself walking on the stage of Microsoft's briefing to confirm his involvement and his excitement for being part of the project.
Most importantly, though, the developers at CD Projekt RED brought over a brand new demo showcased behind closed doors to the press, including our team. That easily won us over (as well as pretty much any other colleague, judging from the impressions that have been posted) on every level and Cyberpunk 2077 went on to secure for itself two of our E3 2019 awards: Best Game and Best Tech Showcase.
On the latter point, NVIDIA confirmed the partnership with CD Projekt RED to add real-time ray tracing to Cyberpunk 2077 on PC. We inquired with CDPR's Alvin Liu about the subject and he had some interesting things to say on the subject.
Ray Tracing was on [in the demo]. We were showing off Ray Traced Emissives, Sky Light, and Ambient Occlusion. However, I've seen super impressive screenshots internally about raytracing (they get sent out in a digest e-mail), so we're clearly still working on it as they looked more impressive than what I remember seeing in the demo. Especially at night and with neon reflections. NVIDIA also has representatives and work with our studio to continue to improve and utilize this technology, similar to Witcher 3 and Hairworks.
CD Projekt RED also revealed the PC that they were using to run the demo at E3 2019 and it was quite the beast. We followed up with Alvin Liu to find out the resolution and settings that were in use. Here's his reply:
The game was running on Ultra, but we are continuing to improve our visuals.
The game demo was running at 1080p, but our trailers and publically released assets are at 4K. The UI is designed mostly at 4K (eventually it will entirely be at 4K native), but we have the technology to swap assets and do intelligent scaling to handle 1080p, widescreen, 720p, 1440p, and so on. We can also design specific UI at 1080p and other resolutions, on a need by need basis, such as on a screen or graphics with heavy icons that might look bad otherwise.
In short, the game ran at 1080p@Ultra settings with an NVIDIA RTX graphics card. However, the developer clearly told us the demo was 'barely optimized', so there's no need to fret about that with almost a full year of development left. In fact, the overall visuals and ray tracing in particular are supposed to get even better than the already impressive stuff we saw in the demo.
We'll have a full interview about Cyberpunk 2077 up later this week. Stay tuned!