Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut gives one of the best PS4 games a glorious PS5 upgrade, and while the majority of players are thrilled to explore Tsushima for the first time or return for the new Iki Island DLC, some aren’t quite so pleased.
Controversy has brewed because owners of Ghost of Tsushima on PS4 do not get a free upgrade to the game’s native PS5 version. Instead, previous owners of the game must pay a $10 charge if they want to get all the benefits that come with the bespoke next-gen edition.
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This has become the latest minor inconvenience that the internet has latched onto and declared unfair. But, in reality, $10 is not an unreasonable price for some small but very welcome improvements to the game. Ghost of Tsushima is a brilliant game and the PS5 version is now the best way to experience it.
Before I receive a barrage of angry comments telling me just how wrong I am, let me explain why Ghost of Tsushima’s $10 PS5 upgrade fee isn’t a big deal and people need to stop complaining about it.
Breaking down the cost
At the start of July, Sony announced the Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut for both PS4 and PS5. The flagship feature of this refreshed version of the popular open-world Samurai game is the Iki Island expansion, which adds a new location to explore and new quests to complete.
Sony announced that PS4 owners of Ghost of Tsushima could upgrade to the Director’s Cut on PS4 for $20. However, owners of the game who wanted to upgrade to the Director’s Cut on PS5 would need to cough up $30. Those who buy the Director’s Cut on PS4 and then at a later date want the PS5 version need to pay an extra $10.
This is where the controversy stems from. The price of admission for the Iki Island DLC has been effectively set at $20, with an extra $10 charge being levied against those who want the game on PS5 with some extra bells and whistles.
This is not an unreasonable pricing structure once it's broken down. If anything the real crime is how convoluted Sony has made the upgrade process, you almost need a spreadsheet to track it all.
Worth the price of admission
While on PS4 the Director’s Cut adds the Iki Island DLC and that’s it, the PS5 version of the Director’s Cut makes several small but surprisingly excellent additions.
Most crucially, the PS5 upgrade adds full DualSense controller support. That means the pad’s next-gen features like haptic feedback and adaptive triggers are fully utilized. This might seems inconsequential at first, but these are borderline game-changing additions.
Having got hands-on with the game myself this week, being able to literally feel the wind blowing through the haptic feedback is a feature that practically justifies paying $10 alone. It’s arguably the best use of the PS5’s controller since Returnal.
The Director’s Cut also adds lip-sync to the Japanese audio track, which was a much-requested feature for those craving a more authentic Ghost of Tsushima experience. Again this is a small addition, but it’s appreciated.
The package is rounded out with 3D audio enhancements, improved loading times (although the game was no slouch in this area already), and proper 4K resolution options. I feel there are enough improvements there to justify the $10 price of admission.
Comparisons don’t help
I will agree that several other publishers opting to give players next-gen versions of its games for free does make Sony’s decision to charge a fee for upgrading Ghost of Tsushima on PS5 look worse in comparison.
The likes of Avengers, Final Fantasy VII Remake, and No Man’s Sky have all given owners on PS4 an upgrade to the native next-gen version at no additional cost. That’s definitely a practice that in an ideal world all publishers would emulate.
There already was a free upgrade
It also shouldn’t be forgotten that Sony did technically already give Ghost of Tsushima a free PS5 upgrade.
If you play the PS4 version of Ghost of Tsushima on the PS5, it will run in Game Boost mode which does pretty much exactly what it sounds like. This backwards compatibility function allows the powerful hardware of the PS5 to improve the playing experience of various games.
Game Boost allows even the standard edition of Ghost of Tsushima to run at 60 fps as well as offer improved loading times on PS5. This bump in framerate is more significant than anything offered in the Director's Cut, and it’s available for absolutely nothing.
If you already own Ghost of Tsushima and don’t want to pay the $10 surcharge for the additional PS5 features, Sony has already given you the most important upgrade possible for free. However, from where I’m standing $10 seems a very reasonable price to pay for what is now the definitive way to experience Ghost of Tsushima.
PS4 owners cannot get the PS5 upgrade alone, so that $10? nope. Early PS4 owners will have coughed up $90 for the game plus upgrade, whereas new buyers will only pay $70. This is ridiculous, and I'll be damned if I give them my money. Early supporters get screwed over. Thanks, but no thanks.