Sony reinstates free PS5 upgrade offer for Horizon Forbidden West following fan backlash

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,170   +872
Staff member
In context: Sony has struggled to compete with Microsoft's "Smart Delivery" system. It allows users to purchase an Xbox game one time and play it on any system they own. It is much simpler than the complicated upgrade paths and confusing pre-order bundles, which PlayStation seems to favor.

Last week, Sony revealed its pre-order options for Horizon Forbidden West. Unfortunately, it appeared that players were no longer getting a free PS5 upgrade if they bought the PS4 version. Instead, Sony advised that if customers wanted the game for both systems, they would have to purchase either the Digital Deluxe ($80), Collector's Edition ($200), or Regalia Edition ($260). This news was contrary to what Sony had promised leading up to the PlayStation 5 launch. Even opting for the cheapest option (Digital Deluxe), players would be paying $20 extra for the PS5 version if they planned to play down the road.

However, over the weekend, Sony backpedaled on its stance. In an update to the initial announcement, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan said the company had "missed the mark."

"Thursday was to be a celebration of Horizon Forbidden West and the amazing team at Guerrilla working to deliver it on February 18, 2022," Ryan wrote. "However, it's abundantly clear that the offerings we confirmed in our pre-order kickoff missed the mark."

Ryan explained that Sony initially meant the free upgrade for its first-party launch titles but that the pandemic had pushed Horizon Forbidden West into next year, no longer making it a day-one game. Despite this setback, Sony will honor its original offer. Anyone who purchases the Standard Edition for PS4 will get a free upgrade to the PS5 version. There is little doubt that fan reaction and negative press coverage had much to do with Sony's reversal.

Another concern that the dustup brought was that Sony did not have any clear upgrade path for its games. Using HFW as the example, the only way to upgrade without repurchasing at full price was to spend $20 more beforehand for the Digital Deluxe copy.

Ryan addressed this concern as well. From now on, players can upgrade any future Sony-produced cross-gen title for $10, including the next God of War and Gran Turismo 7. This offer applies to both physical and digital versions of Sony Interactive Entertainment games. PlayStation 5 games are generally priced at $70 versus $60 for PS4. So essentially, customers pay the difference to get the PS5 version.

The announcement seemed like a particularly unnecessary PR mess. Unfortunately, it took fan backlash and negative press to force Sony to see that.

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EdmondRC

Posts: 151   +127
Charge the same for the PS4 and PS5 versions so that you don't feel like you have to fix the price differential. Better yet, just make one product (disc or digital) that automatically installs the correct version on the machine the customer owns, but allows them to upgrade later. Just make sure both brandings are on the box so that people know it works on either machine.
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,558   +3,062
TechSpot Elite
Sony has struggled to compete with Microsoft's "Smart Delivery" system.
No struggle at all. They know they can be greedier than MS and the goodwill they've garnered will carry them through it.
If MS didn't mess up the XB1 launch so bad, I don't think they'd be in such an arrogant position.

They've been doing the bare minimum this generation, and it's starting to catch up to them. I'm just glad that MS has been pushing the other (consumer friendly) way so hard to contrast how greedy they're being. Better for us...
 

Puiu

Posts: 4,972   +3,841
TechSpot Elite
Charge the same for the PS4 and PS5 versions so that you don't feel like you have to fix the price differential. Better yet, just make one product (disc or digital) that automatically installs the correct version on the machine the customer owns, but allows them to upgrade later. Just make sure both brandings are on the box so that people know it works on either machine.
Too much common sense is dangerous.
 

Kosmoz

Posts: 427   +764
Sony can still get away with higher prices and practices like this as long as MS and Xbox is only about GP and no new great AAA games to compete and beat Sony's exclusives.

So far only wishes and dreams and promises from MS, when that 1st MS new game comes that will beat any of Sony's best, then only then will the real fight begin.

I've been waiting for competition from MS for ages now... Halo, Forza and Gears are not competition. MS needs to impress with a NEW IP, preferably a dozen NEW IPs, not just one.

So when is that gonna happen, in 2022? 2023?