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Horizon Forbidden West will not have a free PS4 to PS5 upgrade

Sony has announced that players who purchase Horizon Forbidden West on PlayStation 4 will need to purchase the PlayStation 5 version of the game if they wish to upgrade.

Bryant Francis

September 2, 2021

2 Min Read
A screenshot from Horizon Forbidden West. Protagonist Aloy rides a mechanical dinosaur that's glowing with blue light.

Sony has announced that players who purchase Horizon Forbidden West on PlayStation 4 will need to spend more money if they wish to upgrade to the PlayStation 5 edition.

In an FAQ page for pre-ordering the game, Sony explains that while PS4 versions of Horizon Forbidden West will work on the PS5, if you only purchase a PS4 version of the game and want to upgrade later you’ll need to purchase a whole new version.

“To access both the PS4 and PS5 versions of Horizon Forbidden West, you need to purchase the Digital Deluxe, Collector’s, or Regalla Editions,” the page states. “Dual entitlement does not apply to the Standard and Special Editions.”

The cheapest of those editions—the Digital Deluxe Edition—costs $79.99, $10 more than the standalone PS5 version of the game, but $20 more than the PS4 version.

Sony has made some preparations for players to wish to upgrade. “If you start on a PS4 console but want to continue on a PS5 console, this is possible,” the page states. “Your save games will be transferable from PS4 console to PS5 console.”

News of the lack of a free upgrade has not gone over well on social media. Several critics have pointed out that this is a far inferior solution to Microsoft’s Smart Delivery system for Xbox, which automatically upgrades Xbox One games to Xbox Series X|S editions.

It’s an especially stinging situation given that a PlayStation 4 version for the game wasn’t actually part of Horizon Forbidden West’s initial announcement.

In 2020, Sony Interactive CEO Jim Ryan told the Washington Post that players would be able to upgrade games like Horizon Forbidden West from PS4 to PS5 for free. “The PS5 versions of those games are built from the ground up to take advantage of the PS5 feature set, and we have an upgrade path for PS4 users to get the PS5 versions for free,” he said at the time.

That no longer appears to be the case.

About the Author(s)

Bryant Francis

Senior Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Bryant Francis is a writer, journalist, and narrative designer based in Boston, MA. He currently writes for Game Developer, a leading B2B publication for the video game industry. His credits include Proxy Studios' upcoming 4X strategy game Zephon and Amplitude Studio's 2017 game Endless Space 2.

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