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Hogwarts Legacy pre-orders may have revealed a nasty surprise

Hogwarts Legacy screenshot
(Image credit: Avalanche Software/WB Games)

Last week we got our first look at Hogwarts Legacy gameplay via a PlayStation State of Play exclusively dedicated to the Harry Potter RPG, and we were pretty impressed with what we saw. What’s less impressive is the game’s apparent price tag and seeming lack of an upgrade path for the PS5 and Xbox Series X.

After its gameplay showcase last week, Hogwarts Legacy pre orders have started appearing at several retailers, and it looks like the game will cost $70 on next-gen consoles. This puts the game in line with PlayStation exclusives such as Horizon Forbidden West and Gran Turismo 7, but is more expensive than the standard retail price for games such as Elden Ring which launched at a slightly more palatable $60. 

Hogwarts Legacy: $69 @ Amazon (opens in new tab)
Hogwarts Legacy pre orders are now live at several retailers including Amazon. This action RPG is set in the famous Wizarding World and will let you attend the iconic school of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You learn spells, brew potions and fly on magical broomsticks. 

Hogwarts Legacy: was £59 now £49 @ ShopTo (opens in new tab)
It's good news for gamers in the UK, as retailer ShopTo is offering Hogwarts Legacy on PS5/Xbox Series X for just £49. This is the cheapest pre order price we've seen so far. If you lock in your order now, you're guaranteed to pay this price at launch even if it later increases.  

At least on last-gen systems, PS4 and Xbox One, the game will cost $60, but anyone wishing to play on next-gen consoles will have to pay an additional premium for the privilege. The news only gets worse from here, as Hogwarts Legacy pre-orders appear to have revealed an unwelcome surprise.

It would seem that Hogwarts Legacy will not offer any sort of next-gen upgrade path. Some cross-gen games including Elden Ring, have offered players who purchase the game on PS4/Xbox One an upgrade to the PS5/Xbox Series X version at no additional cost. But Hogwarts Legacy appears to be shunning this customer friendly practice. 

Alternatively, some games such as Horizon Forbidden West have offered a next-gen upgrade at a small fee ($10/£10) but again Hogwarts Legacy pre-orders listings make no mention of this either.

A free, or even paid, next-gen upgrade is particularly useful for gamers still hunting a PS5 restock or Xbox Series X restock. An upgrade path allows gamers still using last-gen hardware to buy the game for their current console and carry on playing when they eventually get hold of a next-gen system.  

Players who opt for the cheaper PS4/Xbox One version of Hogwarts Legacy should still be able to play the game on PS5/Xbox Series X via backwards compatibility. However, this won’t offer access to the native next-gen version which will presumably feature specific enhancements such as a higher frame rate and faster loading times. 

At the time of writing, digital pre-orders haven’t gone live yet, and there is the possibility that the current pre-order information is just placeholder. However, for now at least, it looks like when you buy a copy of Hogwarts Legacy it will be locked to a single platform, so choose carefully before hitting that pre-order button. 

Hogwarts Legacy is currently scheduled to release in Holiday 2022, and in a surprise twist a Nintendo Switch version was recently confirmed (there’s no pre-order details for this version of the game quite yet). The Harry Potter RPG is already generating plenty of interest, and based on the recent gameplay demo there’s plenty of reasons to be excited about Hogwarts Legacy

Rory Mellon

Rory is a Deals Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on deals, gaming and streaming. When he’s not scouring retailers for PS5 restock or writing hot takes on the latest gaming hardware and streaming shows, he can be found attending music festivals and being thoroughly disappointed by his terrible football team.