It was expected, but it is still a bummer.
One of the ways in which CD Projekt RED’s The Witcher series is notable to its Bioware siblings is in how the developers strive to create a persistent, continuous thread throughout the games, so that it feels like one story from start to finish. This is, of course, best experienced on PC, where there are no compatibility issues, but on the consoles, it becomes trickier- the Xbox One and PS4 are both incompatible with their predecessors, which makes the issue of save data from the older games a bit complicated, not to mention that PlayStation has never even had a Witcher game before this one (and Xbox never got the first Witcher game).
Speaking about this issue, the developers confirmed that the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 cannot import save files from previous Witcher games, though they can ‘simulate world states.’
“The way how it works is that the game on the consoles will ask you whether you want to simulate a specific state of the world, coming from previous games,” CD Projekt RED’s MilesTost explained. “If you choose ‘yes,’ then you will get a special conversation at one part of the game – I don’t want to spoil where it happens. It’s basically a conversation with a character and the conversation is about the adventures of Geralt of Rivia. And you can basically deny or confirm whatever [the character] has heard of whatever tales of [Geralt.] It’s actually kind of a cute mechanic. If you don’t want to simulate the state then this conversation doesn’t take place.”
That sounds like an organic way of doing it, I guess, although guys (and this goes for all developers who try to attempt something like this), future proofing your games (maybe via cloud saves and imports) might be a great idea going forward.