Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC: could it happen?

Could Red Dead Redemption 2 come to PC? It looks likely.

Rockstar’s open-world Western game Red Dead Redemption 2 launched to huge acclaim in late October, albeit as a console exclusive for Xbox One and PS4. 

While it’s not exactly a restrictive release, committed PC players have been left twiddling their thumbs in the vague hope of a PC port coming down the line. And they might have had their prayers answered.

Players hungry for a high-spec or 4K experience can opt to play the game on the PS4 Pro or Xbox One X, but there’s nothing quite like a souped-up PC rig to bring out the finer details and see what Rockstar’s game engine can really do. Or if you don’t have a console from Sony or Microsoft, what else are you meant to do?

We’ve run through all the latest rumors pointing to a PC release – and when we’d expect it to land.

Red Dead Redemption 2: PC rumors

Rumors kicked off in mid-October after the online retailer MediaMarkt listed a PC version of the game on its website, with a placeholder date of December 31, 2019. The listing has since been pulled, however.

Things heated up again after a LinkedIn profile for a Rockstar employee appeared to list credits as a programmer on the PC version of the game – though this, again, was amended after the media attention that arose.

The firmest clues we have came after Rockstar released a mobile / tablet companion app alongside the new Red Dead game, mainly as a hub for viewing in-game stats, journal entries, and map locations (see image below).

Red Dead Redemption 2 companion app

Red Dead Redemption 2 companion app

Some savvy data-mining, though, contained references to PC-quality graphics settings – shadow quality, grass rendering, and the like – as well as lines explicitly naming PC, such as ‘PARAM_companionAutoConnectIpPC’ or ‘CommandIsPcVersion(void)’. You can see the full list on Rockstar Intel.

There’s also a reference to ‘Oculus’, which can only really refer to VR capability for the game. Given the option to play the entire game in an immersive first-person perspective, virtual reality would be a natural fit – and would be most at home on a dedicated Oculus or PC-bound headset.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2: ripe for VR?

Red Dead Redemption 2: PC release date

So when could Red Dead Redemption 2 come to PC? At this point Rockstar are unlikely to make an announcement before the end of 2018. If anything, an announcement in January could be a savvy move to keep up interest in the coming new year.

While 2010’s Red Dead Redemption never came to PC, previous Rockstar games like GTA IV or GTA V both took around half a year to make the jump to PC after their initial console launch. So we could be looking at an April / May launch date this time around.

Given the scale of the the open-world game, it’s not wholly surprising for a PC port to follow a few months after – it takes a lot of work to get the game running on different systems. But the longer PC gamers have to wait, the less likely they are to maintain their anticipation. 

If the game gets delayed too long, it may end up competing with CD Projekt Red’s similarly open-world Cyberpunk 2077, which is expected to release in early 2019 Sure, the open plains of Rockstar’s Western seems a far way from a neon Blade Runner-esque dystopia, but gamers only have so much time on their hands and both developers are unlikely to want to be competing directly.

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Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC: could it happen?

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