Overnight, President and CEO of Sony Interactive Jim Ryan, released a statement which updated the ‘Horizon Forbidden West’ PlayStation blog post to confirm that all PS4 versions of the game, due to release on February 18th 2022, will have a FREE Upgrade to the PS5 version. This follows the reveal of the different versions of the game available when the Pre-Orders went live on September 2nd 2021 and fans immediately noticed that the only way for someone on PS4 to have an upgrade to the PS5 version was to purchase the higher tier Deluxe or Regalia Editions of the game.
The entire path to a PS5 version of a Sony Studio title should you be trying to from a PS4 version of the game has been a complete and utter fiasco from day one with Sony clearly experimenting with different ways of trying to charge for this upgrade compared to the “Smart Delivery” of Xbox Series X/S games which simply requires you to purchase the game/install from Xbox Game Pass and depending on which console you are downloading it to, it will give you the best version possible at no extra charge.
PlayStation 4 fans have been hit with a variety of different options, many of which cost more money such as the recent Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut’ which for anyone who own the original game, forced them to have to pay $10/£9 for a special “PS5 Features” upgrade even if they owned the game since its original 2020 release, this hit me personally for example. Other games such as ‘Final Fantasy VII Remake’ from Square Enix gave the PS5 upgrade free to anyone who purchased the game originally (Not the free version from PS Plus) so they could purchase the PS5 only Yuffie DLC. To complete the mess, ‘Death Stranding Director’s Cut’ releasing on September 24th will allow anyone who owns either the digital or physical PS4 version of the game, to upgrade to the Director’s Cut version with new content as well as a FREE upgrade to PS5 version for just $10/£10.
What made ‘Horizon Forbidden West’ hurt even more for fans, was that last year, when stock shortage hit the launch of the PS5, PlayStation came out with a blog post that initially indicated that the titles that had been marketed as being PS5 only would also be releasing on PS4 and that they would have a FREE PS5 upgrade, which included ‘Horizon Forbidden West’ but now Jim Ryan has said this:
Thursday was to be a celebration of Horizon Forbidden West and the amazing team at Guerrilla working to deliver it on February 18, 2022. However, it’s abundantly clear that the offerings we confirmed in our pre-order kickoff missed the mark.
Last year we made a commitment to deliver free upgrades for our cross-gen launch titles, which included Horizon Forbidden West. While the pandemic’s profound impact pushed Forbidden West out of the launch window we initially envisioned, we will stand by our offer: Players who purchase Horizon Forbidden West on PlayStation 4 will be able to upgrade to the PlayStation 5 version for free.
I also want to confirm today that moving forward, 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. This will apply to the next God of War and Gran Turismo 7, and any other exclusive cross-gen PS4 & PS5 title published by Sony Interactive Entertainment.
Jim Ryan, President & CEO, Sony Interactive Entertainment
So it now seems that PlayStation now have a final method and strategy when PS4 owners of Sony Studio titles move to the PS5 version with a $10/£9 priced Upgrade option, whilst this is still not as good as the Smart Delivery method of Xbox, it is at least a clean and set method. There is also the cost of developing a PS5 title over a PS4 which is why the now £69.99 price tag for a PS5 game compared to the standard £59.99 PS4 price tag. This PS5 upgrade now balances the difference in pricing with a clear understanding of how much and how to upgrade to the PS5 version will be going forward.
Just a real shame it took millions of PlayStation fans and Gaming media to call Sony Interactive out to make them realise the mess they made for themselves!