Sony has junked free next-gen upgrades for its future first-party PlayStation games, though Horizon Forbidden West will be free to upgrade following a consumer backlash.
Horizon Forbidden West (below), set to launch for PS4 and PS5 on February 18, 2022, is the sequel to 2017’s popular PS4 title Horizon Zero Dawn.
While its preorder announcement initially did not include either a free or paid upgrade path from the PS4 to the PS5 version, Sony has reversed course after pressure from gamers, with Jim Ryan, President & CEO, Sony Interactive Entertainment, admitting that the offering “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,” he said.
The announcement came with a sting in the tail, however, with Ryan adding that future digital upgrades of cross-gen games to PS5 would come with a $10 USD (around $13.40 AUD) price tag.
“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,” he said.
Third-party games will not be affected by this policy, with developers able to offer free or paid upgrades for their games, or none at all, as they choose.