PS5 game upgrade details revealed — and it's good news

Spider-Man Miles Morales
(Image credit: Sony)

The PS5's support for PS4 games has been a giant set of question marks for months now, but we're slowly learning more. Today's nugget of intel reveals good news about what happens if you upgrade your games to the next-gen format. 

This news comes from redditor bigpapijugg, who shared a conversation with a PlayStation support agent to the PS5 subreddit. His post explains how PS4 versions may still work after you upgrade them to the PS5 using the free upgrade.

Essentially, you'll get a free PS5 version of your game by upgrading it. The redditor posed this question by talking about handing his PS4 down to his son when he gets the PS5, saying "if I get a PS4 game like Miles Morales, will upgrading to the PS5 version allow us both to play it?"

The support agent (David) replied with good news. "Since the PS4 and PS5 copies will be separate, and the PS5 copy is a complimentary access to that platform, you should still retain access to the progress and data for PS4. In essence, it's like having two copies: One for each platform."

The caveat here, David added, is that he can't say for sure if physical games will have this perk, before noting "However, I do know the digital version will give both for PS4 and PS5."

The full transcript is below:

Confirmed: If you take advantage of the PS4-to-PS5 free upgrades on a digital game, you’ll maintain access to both the PS4 version and PS5 version from r/PS5

Why would a physical copy be treated differently? One presumes that it may not be able to create a digital license that can be used without a disc, since the original game is only accessible with said disc. 

Of course, it should be noted that a PlayStation support agent's reply is not a formal statement from the company itself. It sounds like David knows what he's talking about, but this could still be reversed down the road, as PlayStation could simply issue a statement saying there was confusion here. 

That being said, this gives all PS4 owners plenty of reason to buy digital copies while they still use that console, at least for last-gen titles that support next-gen upgrades. Not only would it be nice to have a particular game for both systems, but giving a gift of a free game is not shabby at all. 

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.