Cyberpunk 2077 patch 1.23 for PS5 and PS4: is the game suitable for the return to the PSN?

Cyberpunk 2077 patch 1.23 for PS5 and PS4: is the game suitable for the return to the PSN?

Cyberpunk 2077 patch 1.23 for PS5 and PS4

Removed from the PlayStation Store in December last year, Cyberpunk 2077 has finally resurfaced in Sony's catalog again available for purchase for PlayStation 5, PS4 and PS4 Pro. Removed from sale due to many bugs and performance issues, the return of the game suggests it's significantly improved since launch, or at least it shouldn't crash severely on PS4, behavior we've seen in every single patch we've tested so far. So is the CD Projekt RED epic really ready for this return to PlayStation consoles with the recent 1.23 patch? We'd like to say yes, with some caveats.

Interestingly, the 1.23 patch notes are relatively small, at least compared to previous updates. In any case, compared to the standards of most games, it does not go unnoticed. We are faced with a series of bug fixes specific to certain missions along with crash fixes, CPU optimization and improved streaming. This all sounds promising but it's worth pointing out that even Sony itself still seems to have reservations about the game. The store explicitly discourages the purchase of Cyberpunk when used on the standard PS4, the most popular and widespread old-gen console, stating that this version is "not recommended" and that more updates will arrive later this year. >
The latest video analysis of Cyberpunk 2077 from Digital Foundry. Does patch 1.23 bring stability and performance necessary for a positive return to the PlayStation Store?

Watch on YouTube. However, we certainly have some good news to share. The game didn't crash a single time during our tests, which we certainly couldn't say with previous updates. We can't totally rule out the possibility of that happening but the game certainly feels more stable now. On top of that there are genuine improvements over patch 1.2 and are more visible on the standard PS4, the console Sony doesn't recommend buying the game for. In fact, in all of our stress tests the standard PS4 expresses the most noticeable improvements when it comes to approaching those elusive 30fps. In slower situations there are improvements up to 5 fps indicating a substantial focus on optimization. It's not always such a significant increase but in any case version 1.23 is consistently better. Compared Patch it really does seem to see a gradual but visible improvement.

What about the bugs? While the crashes are radically reduced, bugs and visual problems are still generally present. Patch 1.23 restores the lighting in the first city shooting that seemed to have vanished in the last update but the hitches remain. Sudden stuttering is felt in case you are moving too fast through Night City. From what we can see these frame rate drops are linked to the engine that takes care of the streaming of the game world, a bottleneck at the CPU level that coincides with textures, polygons and NPCs that pop up on the screen at the same time. As a consequence there is some pop-in at the level of textures and polygons while it can still happen that NPCs are loaded as low-poly models in the most crowded areas.

Surely it is still a situation far from an ideal state but patch 1.23 guarantees the biggest performance improvements on the base PS4. PS4 Pro and PS5 offer a generally more stable experience though. As for the PS4 Pro, in reality the console was already defending itself quite well with patch 1.2. Historically Cyberpunk 2077 has always run better on the Pro and the game has only further increased stability with version 1.23. Checking our tests we are faced with 30 fps in any case. The city market, the car shooting all at 30 fps with some occasional lost frames. Streaming bottlenecks can be encountered and there are still a number of visual glitches that you are sure to encounter as non-fully formed NPCs with low quality polygons and placeholder textures.

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Switching to PlayStation 5 the game still runs in backward compatibility even if with an unlocked frame rate. It was already running quite smoothly at launch but the code could only improve through various stability upgrades and fixed crashes.

Having said that the performances remain almost those of the launch: it is for the most part 60 fps but moving at great speed around the city or diving headlong into the fighting can lead to drops between 50 and 60 fps. PlayStation 5 performs quite well and it will be interesting to see which direction CDPR decides to take the game with the upgrade dedicated to the next-gen currently in development.

As of now, patch 1.23 can be largely considered a hit for last generation PlayStation. The base PS4 and PS4 Pro versions have improved frame rates even though situations below 20fps can still plague the standard console.

What is most important? Crashes are definitely reduced, at least based on time spent with the game. Sony's technical requirements for publishing the game on PlayStation Store don't have specific performance values ​​but having a stable and largely crash-free code is definitely a minimum requirement.

More updates and improvements have been promised and improved performance stability along with general advances for pop-in issues are certainly the most important areas to address. We will cover the next updates as they are published.

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