PlayStation CEO nixes free cross-gen PS5 upgrades for good

PlayStation CEO nixes free cross-gen PS5 upgrades for good

Video game characters have been photoshopped behind a rain-speckled window.Enlarge / Sony’s new standardized cross-gen upgrade cost will be $10 for all first-party games slated to release on both PS4 and PS5.

Sony announced last week that players will be able to upgrade any version of Horizon Forbidden West from the PlayStation 4 to the PlayStation 5 for free—but that game is the last first-party release that will include this option.

In a September 4 post on PlayStation.Blog, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan confirmed that every new first-party, cross-generation release in the future will offer players a paid current-gen upgrade path option for $10. This list includes the next God of War, Gran Turismo 7, and any other Sony-published games slated to appear on both systems, only exempting Horizon Forbidden West.

Now it will cost you

The publisher reversed course on the Forbidden West preorder plans it announced two days earlier because it had offered no way, paid or otherwise, for players to upgrade the game’s bare-bones PS4 editions to current-gen. Instead, the convoluted pricing structure required anyone interested in owning Horizon Forbidden West on both consoles to choose from multiple high-cost deluxe editions, a move that sparked significant backlash from fans.

“It’s abundantly clear that the offerings we confirmed in our preorder kickoff missed the mark,” Ryan said in the September 4 post, acknowledging that the effects of the global pandemic had delayed Forbidden West from its original projected release. “Players who purchase Horizon Forbidden West on PlayStation 4 will be able to upgrade to the PlayStation 5 version for free.”


Ryan pledged in an interview last year that all Sony cross-gen launch games would include free next-gen upgrades. At the time, the roster included Forbidden West. Even this news walked back the perception that original launch-window titles like Forbidden West and Gran Turismo would be PS5 exclusives, as was heavily implied in Sony’s original PS5 reveal showcase. That showcase made clear that all game footage had been captured on the new hardware.

Until this change, Sony had not landed on a standardized approach for players to upgrade games from PS4 to PS5. Death Stranding: Director’s Cut, due out later this month, allows owners of any version of the original game to upgrade to the PS5 release, including all director’s cut content, for $10.

Meanwhile, the recently released Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut featured an overly complex set of options requiring owners of the base game to buy the director’s cut content, either for $20 on PS4 or $30 on PS5. (Players interested in just getting the new expansion on PS4 can then upgrade to PS5 for $10 later.)

Sony’s next PlayStation announcements are expected tomorrow afternoon during its online PS5 showcase, which may include updates on God of War, Gran Turismo, and other cross-gen titles.

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