Update: information regarding our upcoming review has been added below.
Release dates are a little blurry when you're facing a hefty download, so what you may want to know about The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt [official site] is: can I preload it? And: if so, when? Also: when does that unlock? You inquisitive little thing, you. Developers CD Projekt RED have cleared up the questions I forced into your mouth by prying your jaws open with my hands, my knee pressed into your chest, and shouting them down your throat.
The Witcher 3 preloads are now live on GOG and Steam, and will start on Origin on Thursday. As for when it'll unlock, I'll tell you.
Preloads will unlock on May 19th at 1am CET, and here's a list from RED on what that means in other time zones:
May 18th, 4.00 pm PT (Los Angeles)
May 18th, 7.00 pm ET (New York)
May 19th, 00.00 am BT (London)
May 19th, 2.00 am UT (Moscow)
May 19th, 8.00 am JT (Tokyo)
Steam does preloading in its usual way, while GOG can preload either through the website with downloads split into 4GB chunks (24.5GB in all) or the new beta GOG Galaxy client.
Until the game does come out, though, it's being cracked down on. Folks who livestreamed through Twitch a leaked version wound up banned. But mercy me, I can't think of a game I'm more keen to get out and start exploring in; even as someone who does watch a fair bit of Twitch and whatnot, I certainly don't want to have that spoiled.
We'll have a review for you as close to the release date as possible. You may have noticed that reviews for the PS4 version of the game are landing all over the internet right now. Unfortunately PC code isn't available yet due to ongoing work on a day-one patch. As soon as we have access to the game, we'll lock somebody inside and won't let them out until they have definitive words of judgement to share with the world.