Rockstar’s original Red Dead Redemption and its expansion spotted in launcher files — Windows gamers may finally get a remastered release

Red Dead Redemption, a seminal 2010 release for the PS3 and Xbox 360 generation of console gaming, seems to finally be getting the official PC port it deserves — 14 years later. This comes long after Red Dead Redemption 2’s 2018 console and 2019 PC releases, and follows last year’s Red Dead Redemption re-releases for PS4 and Nintendo Switch. But now, information was found during scrutiny of the Rockstar Games Launcher files by @TezFunz2 on Twitter.

Based on the above, it looks like Red Dead Redemption and its Undead Nightmare expansion are finally getting real PC ports. Since this is sourced from official files, we can reasonably assume that the release must be imminent. We’ve seen similar launcher file ‘leaks’ in the past from Rockstar, prior to the arrival of the GTA remasters as an example.

What should we expect from a PC port? The re-release of RDR on PS4 and Switch ultimately employed only minor bumps to actual graphical presentation. General image quality and resolution support were greatly improved over the original release, but new assets, operation above 30 FPS, and other features one would want from a remaster weren’t present. But then that was for the PS4 and Switch, not exactly high-end hardware by today’s standards.

Things get a little more interesting when we start looking at how Red Dead Redemption already runs on PC via emulation. It seems that fans will step up where publishers and developers won’t, even considering past efforts by Rockstar to snuff out Red Dead on PC.

With Xbox 360 emulation through Xenia, Red Dead Redemption can easily be pushed to 4K resolution and above, and has been tested running at a stable 120 FPS as well— that’s four times the 30 FPS cap of the Xbox 360 and PS4! Below, we’ve embedded a Digital Foundry video that includes RDR emulation setup tips and a deeper analysis of how this classic game fares in Xenia.

Now the impetus is on Rockstar to provide a competent PC port and hopefully remaster for a game originally released on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that we’ll get the requisite work such a remaster would need. We need only look at the lackluster PS2-era GTA “remasters” and the PS4/Switch release of RDR, which don’t inspire the highest confidence.

At a minimum, we hope the official PC version of RDR supports running uncapped resolutions and framerates. Emulation has already demonstrated the engine is capable of these features. Naturally, things like strong mouse and keyboard support are a must for a PC port.

Red Dead Redemption 2 and GTA 5 at least have all the extras that we want from a major PC game, though the latter still lacks a few graphical features compared to the PS5 and Xbox Series S/X. At the same time, GTA 5 came out on Windows in 2015 (two years after the PS3 launch), while the PS5 / XBox S/X release arrived in 2022. Both PC games continue to have a large following as well, giving Rockstar plenty of reason to invest in a quality porting and enhancement job. We’ll likely get to see just how much effort has been put into the PC Red Dead Redemption port in the coming weeks.