Horizon Forbidden West developer Guerrilla Games announced on Thursday that only customers who bought the Digital Deluxe Edition of the game will be entitled to the product on both PS4 and PS5. This naturally contradicts Sony’s statement from September of last year. “Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Sackboy A Big Adventure, and Horizon Forbidden West will also launch on PS4. […] The PS4 digital versions of launch games include a free upgrade on both PS5 consoles, while the PS4 disc versions of these games include a free upgrade on the PS5″ reads the post on the PlayStation blog.
Naturally, the gaming community is not one to forget easily, and Sony has received plenty of reminders of their promise. On the heels of the massive amount of backlash, Jim Ryan, the president and CEO of Sony released a public statement. “The offerings we confirmed in our pre-order kickoff missed the mark” he exclaimed in the opening of his message to the community. Sony intends to stand by its offer of free upgrade for anyone who bought Horizon Forbidden West for PS4 in both physical and digital form. But all the discussion after this announcement seems to center around the last paragraph. “PlayStation first-party exclusive cross-gen titles (newly releasing on PS4 & PS5)–both digital and physical*–will offer a $10 USD digital upgrade option from PS4 to PS5,” it claims.
The Upgrade Problem – Horizon Forbidden West Won’t be the Only Victim
While paying 10$ for an upgrade of your titles is not ideal, it’s a far cry from the worst outcome. That being no compatibility between PS4 & PS5 at all. But this is the crux of the problem for many gamers. PS5 features full backward compatibility, at least on paper it seems. Both digital and physical games from PS4 can run on PS5, they just sometimes don’t. Sony is really inconsistent in this department, as only some games get a free pass. Others require a fee to be paid, and in some cases, you have to buy the game again for the new system. Microsoft seems to be winning more and more points in the current generation console wars. Many point out its consumer-friendly Smart Delivery system. Xbox offers you free upgrades between Xbox One and Xbox Series X. Even if you buy a game for the new-gen console, you can still enjoy a version optimized for the last-gen.
This whole conundrum resulted in Horizon Forbidden West being cheaper if you buy it for PS4. Regardless of what system you will play it on. The PS4 version is 10$ cheaper and even the physical disk will run on PS5. The only thing you are missing out on is the slick white cover sleeve. The future of this business decision is uncertain, but many would happily pay 10 dollars more per game if it meant that majority of their library makes it over to PS5 when they upgrade. But it won’t be that simple, Ghost of Tsushima owners had to fork over 30$ to upgrade to PS5. Which is unacceptable. With how things are right now, we can expect the same negative blowback when the new God of War and Gran Turismo arrive.