Don't pay $50 for Red Dead Redemption on PS4 or Switch — a better (and cheaper) version's already on Xbox

Red Dead Redemption
(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

The original Red Dead Redemption and its Undead Nightmare expansion are moseying onto PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch on August 17, with physical editions to follow on October 13. 

Following this announcement by RockStar Games, fans' excitement quickly soured when the long-rumored re-release of gun-slinging John Marston's first open-world adventure turned out to be neither a remake nor a remaster. Rather, it's a port (or "conversion," as Rockstar calls it) of the 2010 title with a few minor technical upgrades sprinkled in. No graphical or framerate enhancements, and no online multiplayer support. 

Now that we've got the good and the bad out of the way, it's time for the ugly: the $50 price tag. Yep, Rockstar is charging $50 for Red Dead Redemption on the Nintendo eShop and PlayStation Store (pricing for physical versions has yet to be announced). Fans balked at the idea of paying close to the full price of a new release for a no-frills port of a 13-year-old game, calling it a blatant "cash grab" on Rockstar's part. 

The real kicker, though, is that for just $30, you can already play Red Dead Redemption on the Xbox Series X at 4K and with online multiplayer. The original Xbox 360 version has been available for years on Xbox's latest consoles (it's also on the Xbox Series S, just without the 4K support) thanks to their robust backward compatibility.

A trailer for the Switch and PS4 Red Dead Redemption ports showed off some frankly underwhelming graphical tweaks. Fidelity has been bumped up a notch, with many of the game's textures appearing sharper and finer details like facial features coming into focus. The contrast level seems to have been adjusted as well, as the color palette appears warmer. And, as one Twitter user noted, you can spot a new patch of grass added to the background of a cutscene. 

Beyond that, you'd be hard-pressed to identify which one was the original 2010 game or the new port when looking at them side by side. Since Rockstar didn't announce 60 frames per second support, it's likely the port will run at the original's 30 fps. Granted, that's true of the Xbox Series X version as well, even at 4K. But it's also $20 cheaper, comes with online multiplayer and is available now. No need to wait until August 17.

It's important to note the Xbox version of Red Dead Redemption doesn't come with the Undead Nightmare DLC, the noncanonical single-player campaign where John Marston faces off against hordes of zombies. That'll set you back another $10 in the Xbox store, for a total of $40 for both Red Dead Redemption and Undead Nightmare, which still comes in under the cost of the latest port. 

So if you have an Xbox Series X/S, save your money for some of the best Switch or PS4 games instead of wasting it on an inferior port. 

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Alyse Stanley
News Editor

Alyse Stanley is a news editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing weekend coverage and writing about the latest in tech, gaming and entertainment. Prior to joining Tom’s Guide, Alyse worked as an editor for the Washington Post’s sunsetted video game section, Launcher. She previously led Gizmodo’s weekend news desk, where she covered breaking tech news — everything from the latest spec rumors and gadget launches to social media policy and cybersecurity threats.  She has also written game reviews and features as a freelance reporter for outlets like Polygon, Unwinnable, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. She’s a big fan of horror movies, cartoons, and miniature painting.