Speaker: One of the Story Designers at CD Projekt Red who's name I didn't get, I'm not doing this on purpose really.
The first part of the session was really about showing off the 360 version of The Witcher 2 which from the demo they gave looks pretty good for a 360 game. You can definitely see that they made concessions with the graphics and other visual things compared with the PC version but it's still a great looking game. He mentioned that they don't really view the 360 version of the game as a port but more as an adaptation of the game. In accordance with this they've changed up the camera from the original PC release a bit as well as revamped the controls, so even though the PC version did have controller support right out the gate they have been modified somewhat for the 360 release. He also confirmed that the Red Engine that was used on the PC version is still the engine being used for the 360.
Also coming for the 360 version and the PC 2.0 version is a bunch of new content to the game which includes 4 minutes of new CGI which has been produced by Oscar nominee Tomasz Baginski as well as a new extensive tutorial, dark mode and an arena mode for the game. The new tutorial will take place before the original prologue and will be woven into the storyline and also serves to move the tutorialising that happened in the prologue to somewhere where you aren't quite as focused on the story.
Dark mode is a new difficulty for the game for hardcore players and includes some dark mode specific loot.
The arena mode is an infinitely replayable mode and it has it's own rewards tied to it. However it seems that these rewards will be specific to the arena and won't be able to be taken into your main game proper. There are also companions in the arena that you can hire to fight alongside you for a particular round, but you do need to be careful with them because those companion characters can die in the arena. One of the more interesting things is that the audience will react to how interesting the fight is. So if you are just running around not really doing anything the audience will react and become annoyed at the fight and throw things like apples into the arena to show their disapproval.
The Q&A session revealed a couple of details as well. The 360 version will probably be released on 2 disks although they haven't quite finished finalised that quite yet and also they are working on a way to get 360 players up to speed on the events of the first Witcher. A PS3 version of the game is also still on the table as a possibility but right now the entire team is concentrated on working on the 360 version so that won't really be a real possibility until that is out the door. Also when asked about an SDK or mod tools the response was that while they are thinking about it and it is something that they would like to do they would need to polish up the tools for the game before they would do it.
The Witcher 2 2.0 update will hit on September 29th and the 360 version will be coming out Q1 2012.