What I don't get though, is that it must have been running on a PC of a given spec with the graphics looking as we'd expected, so why can't it look like that now? Surely the hardware available now is more advanced than it was when those initial trailers appeared, so, why doesn't the game look that spectacular if the user selects "max detail"? Why would they feel the need to remove or disable anything from the preview trailers, when it clearly ran on a PC back then? I don't understand...?
These were demos after all. The very first trailers were most likely created with a lot of post-processing on CDPR's part to show how they wanted the game to look like in the end.
For the 35 minute gameplay presentation i would guess that they had the area mostly closed of to just the areas we visited. They also most likely had optimized the game for that specific area. So that, for example, specific effects were working well in those areas but caused issues in some areas of the game world that they didn't show.
---------- Updated at 07:38 PM ----------
Well, I would guess that CDPR didn't consider it a debacle. A small percentage of people have decided it is. Sales are good, review are awesome... Pretty much a non issue. When asked, they say PC will look better, game looks great, have fun.
Seems to be accurate. Perhaps the debacle simply.... Isn't.
That would be pretty worrying. Because we can see on this forum that a lot of their fans do care very much about this issue. True the majourity of people that will play the game in the end might not. But those that do are the people that are on this forum. These are the hardcore fans of CDPR and if CDPR really cares nothing about their core-fanbase, about the people that supported them from the start, then that is indeed worrying. If they want to joing EA, Bioware, Ubisoft and all the rest in their race to appeal to the broad audience and the lowest common denominator, then they can do that. They will do it without me, though.
Edit: They actually mentioned in another article on gamestar that CDPR send the PC patch in yesterday as a pre-version of the day one patch and said that the final day one patch will have additional improvements in it. They also guessed that CDPR might have done that, because they are worrying about the downgrade debacle. But that's obviously just a guess.