It’s a difficult time for PS4 owners looking to be the first in line for a PS5 when stock arrives. We still don’t have a confirmed price or release date (though we have an idea of the latter), so what do you do if you want more games in the meantime? Microsoft has Xbox Smart Delivery, which lets you play the best version of the game no matter whether you’re using an Xbox One X/S or Xbox Series X/S, but Sony’s plans are a bit more piecemeal.
In short, Sony has left the decision of how next-gen upgrades are handled to the game publishers themselves, and it’s pretty inconsistent. While the likes of Cyberpunk 2077 and Destiny 2 will provide free upgrades from PS4 to PS5, others like Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, are a lot more messy. Then there’s a whole subset which presumably won’t offer any upgrades on PS5 — so how do you know which is which?
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Well, thanks to Ubisoft, we now have an idea of how publishers will tip you off. VGC spotted a small logo at the bottom of the upcoming Immortals Fenyx Rising PS4 game box which shows its forward compatible credentials. “PS5 Upgrade Available,” a small box out next to the age rating reads.
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It’s quite a lot more subtle than the Xbox equivalent, as two Ubisoft boxes side by side demonstrates.
But it’s worth remembering that that’s out of necessity. Microsoft is gambling on Xbox One and Xbox Series consoles being part of the same family, in much the same way that the PC gaming community covers everyone from RTX 3080 owners to those playing Peggle on their work laptops. The small black bar along the top explains which consoles the game works on, but it makes sense to highlight that owners are gaining something by purchasing the latest and greatest hardware all the same.
While Sony still has some cards close to its chest, Microsoft’s plans are now completely out in the open. The Xbox Series X and Series S will launch on November 10, priced at $499/$449 and $299/£249 respectively.
For the PlayStation 5, we’re still very much in the dark, although the company has reportedly had to drop its planned cost thanks to the aggressive pricing of the new Xboxes.
We’ll hopefully find out more this week, when Sony has its second big PS5 games showcase. Last time around we got our first look at the console and its accessories – with any luck, this week’s show will close with the much anticipated price and release date.
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Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.