Red Dead Redemption Comes To Switch And PS4, Remaster Is MIA

After years of waiting and months of reignited rumors of a remaster, Rockstar Games has finally revealed a port for the first Red Dead Redemption. Over a decade after its release, the critically-acclaimed third-person shooter is making the jump to PlayStation 4 and Switch on August 17, but a “next-gen” upgrade for PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC is seemingly not happening.

The PS4 and Switch versions will be $50, with a physical release shipping on October 13. While the ports won’t include any changes to the underlying game, they will come with Undead Nightmare, a zombie story campaign that was added to the Game of the Year edition of Red Dead Redemption over a decade ago. If you were hoping for a 4K update or 60fps mode, however, you’re out of luck. The PS4 and Switch ports won’t support multiplayer either.

The original Red Dead Redemption takes place four years after the events of Red Dead Redemption 2 and follows rancher and former outlaw John Marston as he’s tasked with capturing his former gang members. While still sprawling, it’s a more focused tale than the prequel that proceeded it, but it also suffered from a decent number of bugs and limitations, like the fact that Marston can’t swim.

Red Dead Redemption – Coming August 17th! (Nintendo Switch)

The frenzy around the potential return of the original Red Dead Redemption kicked off in June when it appeared on the South Korea game rating body’s list of submissions. The game was never ported to PC and, among relatively current consoles, could only be played on Xbox One and Series X/S via Microsoft’s backwards compatibility program. It had briefly been available to stream through PlayStation Now, but became inaccessible on PS5 after that program merged with PlayStation Plus.

Kotaku previously reported that a fullblown remaster of Red Dead Redemption had been shelved after the debacle around the 2021 Grand Theft Auto remaster trilogy, which included tons of issues, including a subpar HD transformation of the original games’ look and style. Despite a bevy of post-launch updates to address many of the bugs and performance problems, some diehard fans still remain unhappy with the overall state of the remasters.

Rockstar Games is currenlty working Grand Theft Auto VI, some of which leaked last year in an unprecedented hack that led tons of prototype footage to appear online. It co-stars a woman and will set in Miami, and while it doesn’t have an official release date yet, publisher Take-Two has strongly hinted that it expects the game to arrive sometime before April 2025, meaning it could launch as soon as next year.

Update 8/7/23 10:22 a.m. ET: Added more information about the price from Rockstar’s website.

Update 8/7/23 11:03 a.m. ET: Added info about multiplayer support. 

$50 For Red Dead Redemption Switch, PS4 Is ‘Great Value’

Today, during a Take-Two earnings call, the publisher’s CEO, Strauss Zelnick, responded to the $50 price tag attached to the upcoming PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch ports of beloved cowboy adventure Red Dead Redemption. According to him, that’s the right price. And he had no additional news for PC players hoping to play the classic game on their preferred platform.

On August 7, following endless rumors online, Rockstar announced new PS4 and Switch conversions of the original Red Dead Redemption. The PS4 version will also be playable on PS5 and, alongside the Switch port, will launch on August 17. Fans weren’t happy though, as the ports appear to be just that, rather than a more ambitious remake or remaster. Sure, it’s nice that a beloved game like RDR will now be available on more platforms, but the $50 price tag, along with news that these new versions wouldn’t include multiplayer or any enhanced visual options, led to plenty of people online being (rightfully) disappointed. And now, the day after announcing the news, Rockstar parent company Take-Two Interactive held an earnings call in which its CEO seemed impassive to the fan disappointment and backlash.

As reported by IGN, after the earnings call, Zelnick was asked why the publisher had picked such a high price point for the relatively barebones ports, especially as the 2010 Xbox 360 version is cheaper and has been out for years via backward compatibility.

“That’s just what we believe is the commercially accurate price for it,” Zelnick said.

Rockstar Games / Nintendo

Take-Two’s EVP of finance, Hannah Sage, mentioned that the newly revealed releases aren’t just the original Red Dead Redemption, but also include the DLC expansion, Undead Nightmare. When Zelnick was asked if the expansion being included was the reason for the $50 price tag, he didn’t give a straight answer.

“[Red Dead Redemption] was a great standalone game in its own right when it was originally released, so we feel like it’s a great bundle for the first time, and certainly a great value for consumers,” the CEO replied.

The original Xbox 360 Red Dead Redemption is currently $30 on the Xbox store and Undead Nightmare is $10. That adds up to $40, less than the $50 price tag of the upcoming, plain-jane ports. (And keep in mind that many players already bought the Xbox 360 version back in the day, so won’t have to rebuy the game to enjoy it via Xbox Series X/S backward compatibility.)

Take-Two dodges questions about Red Dead Redemption coming to PC

When Kotaku asked for a follow-up statement via email, a Take-Two representative declined to comment further on the game or Zelnick’s answer. Take-Two also ignored questions about the existing backward-compatible Xbox 360 version.

Continuing the trend of ignoring or dodging questions, during the post-call meeting, Zelnick was asked by IGN about a possible PC port of RDR, and answered vaguely, telling the outlet he leaves those announcements for studios to make.

“It depends on the vision that the creative teams have for a title,” said Zelncik. “And in the absence of having a powerful vision—for something that we would do with a title—we might bring it [back out] in its original form. We’ve done that. And in certain instances we might remaster or remake, so it really depends on the title and how the label feels about it, the platform, and what we think the opportunity is for consumers.”

I didn’t spot an answer in that mess of vague words and sentences. Perhaps, after Red Dead Redemption re-releases on PS4 and Switch on August 17, we can get a PC version, or at least a better answer as to why there might never be one.

Five Minutes Of The $50 Red Dead Redemption Port Running On PS5

John Marston rides off into the sunset.

Screenshot: Rockstar Games / Kotaku

The first thought that came to mind when starting Red Dead Redemption on PlayStation 5 is how well the 13-year old game holds up visually. The second one was that there was still no way in hell I could recommend it to anyone for a “next-gen” price tag of $50. The graphics are clean and crisp, but otherwise it’s the same game that’s been available for years on Xbox One without the Undead Nightmare DLC for almost half that price.

The cinematic scenes and character interactions still draw you in, and the performances remind you why Rockstar Games’ open-world Western was a worthy GOTY contender (Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Mass Effect 2 also came out in 2010). It still feels like an old game, especially with the original interface, occasionally clunky action, and less-than-snappy controls. Look out across sprawling prairies or cactus-filled desserts and you’ll immediately remember this is a PS3/Xbox 360-era world. Then the sun starts to go down behind the clouds and you remember how special it was at the time and immediately feel pulled back into its drama.

Red Dead Redemption – 5 Minutes of PS5 Gameplay

Red Dead Redemption – 5 Minutes of PS5 Gameplay

I spent a couple of hours with the game on PS5, a clip of which you can see above, and didn’t run into any real issues. It’s locked to a disappointing 30fps, but keeps a consistent performance outside of some occasional stuttering during cutscenes. According to Digital Foundry’s analysis, the PS4 port resolves to “full 4K resolution” and even looks slightly better on PS5 than the backwards compatible version on Xbox Series X/S, especially when it comes to shadows. But the differences are mostly limited to minutiae that few people are likely to notice. “It’s the kind of game that doesn’t really need a major overhaul to work well on modern systems—but even so this is a very barebones effort,” wrote Oliver Mackenzie.

The port would be a home run if not for the $50 head scratcher. It’s not the sort of thing I usually like to harp on, and if you have the money to spare, and never played Red Dead Redemption before, and only have a PS4 or PS5, go for it! But for anyone who just wants to revisit the game or is overwhelmed by the surprising bounty of great new games this year, it’s likely an instant deal breaker, and nothing during my time playing it convinced me otherwise. Maybe the game will come to PS Plus in a few months, or go on sale during the holiday. For now it’s just a pricey trip down memory lane with nothing new to offer.

Here’s Red Dead Redemption Running At 60FPS On A Hacked Switch

A Switch displays John Marston shooting his gun.

Image: Nintendo / Rockstar Games / Kotaku

The new port of Red Dead Redemption is locked at 30fps, even on a PlayStation 5. Switch enthusiasts who like to experiment with pushing the aging handheld hybrid tech to the max, however, can get it running at 60fps, at least in the early parts of the game.

Developer and YouTuber Modern Vintage Gamer showed how in a recent video about doing just that with a hacked Switch and some help from the homebrew community. Using a series of fan-made tools including FPSLocker, ReverseNX-RT, and NX-FPS, he was able to uncap the frame rate for the open-world Western and get it running at a pretty consistent 60fps by overclocking the CPU/GPU and memory.

Gif: Rockstar Games / Modern Vintage Gamer / Kotaku

“As you can see it’s silky smooth and a lot of that kind of input lag we come to expect from a game like Red Dead Redemption is not eliminated but is definitely a lot better,” Modern Vintage Gamer said in the video. “And for me this is the ideal way to play Red Dead Redemption. 60fps or up to 60fps in handheld mode is a beautiful thing.”

He added that he didn’t experience any hitching, crashes, or other issues in his time testing the game’s overclocked performance. The one thing it does require is for the Switch to be plugged in, since the extra power is needed to push the performance. The tests were on an early version of the Nintendo hardware as well, so more recent iterations of the console that use the Mariko chipset might handle it even better.

The port as-is remains a bit of a letdown, especially with the $50 price tag. While it’s nice to have one of the best games of 2010 on a handheld, the lack of updated features, especially on PlayStation 5, is still a big disappointment. Even more egregious is that there’s still no PC version after all these years. The sequel, Red Dead Redemption 2, runs great on the Steam Deck after all.


Saints Row And Red Faction Studio Shut Down After 30 Years

Volition, the studio behind Red Faction, Saints Row, and countless other games, is closing its doors after 30 years. The decision was made by parent company Embracer after the sprawling conglomerate announced cuts earlier this year following the loss of $2 billion in funding that was reportedly supposed to come from the controversial Saudi Arabia Public Invesetment Fund.

“This past June, Embracer Group announced a restructuring program to strength Embracer and maintain its position as a leader in the video game industry,” Volition announced on August 31 in a statement on LinkedIn. “As part of that program, they evaluated strategic and operational goals and made the difficult decidion to close Volition effective immediately.”

The news was coincidentally shared shortly after reviews for Bethesda’s spacefaring RPG Starfield went live, and Embracer declined to comment to Kotaku on why the decision was made or how many developers will be laid off as a result. “Naturally, It is a challenging time for everyone impacted and we are working with those team members with compassion, respect, and integrity,” a spokesperson for Embracer wrote in an email.

A screenshot shows Volition's closure announcement.

Screenshot: Volition / Kotaku

Volition began its journey in 1993 as Parallax Software with the sci-fi first-person shooter Descent. The company was renamed after a split in 1996, and went on to survive the collapse of publisher THQ in 2012 before eventually becoming part of Koch Media (now Plaion), itself later purchased by Nordic Games (now Embracer). Over three decades it created the space combat sim FreeSpace, the shooter series Red Faction, the fantasy RPG Summoner, and the hit open-world parody of Grand Theft Auto, Saints Row.

A reboot of the Saints Row series that released last year was its most recent game. It launched with lots of bugs and received mixed reviews, and reportedly didn’t meet sales expectations despite continual updates and plenty of fans. It was one of a number of big blockbusters whose less-than-stellar reception forced Embracer to begin slashing projects and development teams across its massive organization after years of snatching up studios in an unprecedented third-party acquisition spree.

The publisher’s financial health took a particularly hard hit early this year when CEO Lars Wingefors revealed that a $2 billion deal the company had planned on suddenly fell through at the last minute. Axios later reported that the partner in question was Savvy Games Group, the gaming investment vehicle for the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund. The fund had already invested $1 billion in Embracer, and maintains investments in Electronic Arts, Nintendo, and many other large gaming companies while also being criticized for the country’s terrible track record on human rights abuses.

“The Volition team has proudly created world-class entertainment for fans around the globe for 30 years,” the studio wrote in its announcement today. “We’ve been driven by a passion for our community and always worked to deliver joy, surprise, and delight.” Embracer said it’s trying to provide job assistance for those affected to “smooth the transition.” Franchises like Saints Row and Red Faction stay owned by Plaion, the company confirmed.


Red Dead Redemption 2 Switch Port Listing Has Fans Stressing

Update 09/27/2023 4:00 p.m. ET: The Brazil Ratings Board has removed the Nintendo Switch from its list of consoles for Red Dead Redemption 2, suggesting that it was mistakenly added. Original article continues below.

A Brazilian rating board listing suggests Red Dead Redemption 2 is coming to Nintendo Switch, five years after the original game launched for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

A new listing for Red Dead Redemption 2 on the Brazilian Ministério da Justiça website (their Ministry of Justice and Public Security), which was first spotted by Twitter user Necro Felipe, now includes the Nintendo handheld as one of the consoles it’s playable on.

The news comes as a surprise to fans given the lukewarm reception the original game received back in August, with many saying it was a barebones port with performance issues that was missing content. Chief among the complaints was its lack of multiplayer, graphical downgrade, and its struggle to run at 60 frames per second. These shortcomings were further accentuated by the fact that Rockstar Games’ port of the 13-year-old game had a full $50 price tag for the Switch. Given the Switch’s recent struggle to run NetherRealm’s Mortal Kombat 1, it’s understandable that fans are feeling a bit nervous about how poorly RDR2, which is bigger and longer than the original game, might play on the Switch.

Kotaku reached out to Rockstar Games for comment.

Should the listing be true, chances are Rockstar Games could officially announce the Red Dead Redemption 2 port by the end of October to coincide with its fifth anniversary (the game released on October 26, 2018). Video game companies tend to mark these kinds of occasions with some sort of big announcements involving merch and new game info, so it’s not completely outside of the realm of possibility here.

Read More: Take-Two CEO: $50 For Red Dead Redemption On Switch, PS4 Is ‘Great Value’
Buy Red Dead Redemption 2: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop

But Rockstar Games has not officially announced RDR2’s release on the Switch, just yet, though the official Brazilian MSRB rating board listings have scooped game announcements in the past. In fact, in 2022, the very same ratings board was where the world first learned that Final Fantasy XVI would be the series’ first rated M title for its depiction of sexual themes, nudity, and hate crimes.

Time will tell whether the Red Dead Redemption 2 port is a real thing, and if it will be yet another port whose gameplay performance won’t warrant the price tag.

Red Dead Redemption Can Now Run At 60 Frames Per Second On PS5

The protagonist of Red Dead Redemption aims a shotgun at the camera.

Image: Rockstar Games

While the rerelease of Red Dead Redemption via a new port on August 17 of 2023 was great news for fans of the original and those who missed out when the game originally shipped 13 years ago, it was missing some desirable features. At $50 bucks with no option to run at a more modern 60 frames per second, the rerelease felt a little lacking. After a recent update, however, the PS5 version of the RDR port now offers the option to play at 60FPS.

Fans of Rockstar’s open-world Western have long wanted a more modern way to play the game on current hardware. Originally on Xbox 360 and PS3, the game released in 2010 and unlike its celebrated sequel, Red Dead Redemption 2, had not seen a release on PC or more modern consoles until the recent digital rerelease on PS4 and Switch in August. That rerelease sells for $50 (a physical version is expected on October 13) but lacked the option to run at a higher framerate, and also doesn’t include the original release’s multiplayer modes. The rerelease doesn’t seem to be headed to PC or Xbox consoles, and only works on PS5 via backwards compatibility as a PS4 title.

Buy Red Dead Redemption: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop

In 2010, console performance often hovered around 30 frames per second (though more demanding games often brought that number far lower on Xbox 360 and PS3). Today, cutting-edge games like Starfield, for example, still aim to hit a reliable 30 frames per second, but rereleases and remasters of older games frequently include options to run at higher framerates. Red Dead Redemption’s lack of an option to take advantage of the higher processing power of more recent consoles set it apart from other such rereleases.

Of course, it wasn’t long before hardware enthusiasts were able to demonstrate that it very well could have included such an option. Running on a hacked Nintendo Switch, Red Dead Redemption was more than able to reliably reach 60 frames per second.

Thankfully, getting such performance out of John Marston’s epic adventure isn’t limited to those with cracked consoles anymore. The game’s recent 1.03 patch on PlayStation includes an option in the game’s settings for 60FPS on PS5.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any indication of more features or future releases for the 2010 open world classic.

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