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Following Backlash Horizon Forbidden West PS4 to PS5 Upgrade is Now Free

Following Backlash Horizon Forbidden West PS4 to PS5 Upgrade is Now Free - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 02 October 2021 / 5,032 Views

Sony recently announced the limited editions for Horizon Forbidden West. However, in order to be able to play the PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 versions of the game you would need to purchase the Digital Deluxe, Collector’s, or Regalla Editions as Dual entitlement does not apply to the standard and Special Editions.

There was fan backlash following the lack of a free upgrade from the PS4 to PS5 version of the game and Sony Interactive Entertainment President and CEO Jim Ryan has reversed course on this decision. You will now be able to upgrade from the PS4 to PS5 version for free. 

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

"Last year we made a commitment to deliver free upgrades for our cross-gen launch titles, which included Horizon Forbidden West. While the pandemic’s profound impact pushed Forbidden West out of the launch window we initially envisioned, we will stand by our offer: Players who purchase Horizon Forbidden West on PlayStation 4 will be able to upgrade to the PlayStation 5 version for free."

Ryan added that in the future first-party exclusives that will launch on both the PS4 and PS5 will offer a $10 digital upgrade option. This applied to the next, God of War and Gran Turismo 7, as well as other cross-gen first-party titles. 

"I also want to confirm today that moving forward, PlayStation first-party exclusive cross-gen titles (newly releasing on PS4 & PS5)–both digital and physical–will offer a $10 USD digital upgrade option from PS4 to PS5. This will apply to the next God of War and Gran Turismo 7, and any other exclusive cross-gen PS4 & PS5 title published by Sony Interactive Entertainment," said Ryan.

It should be noted that if you purchase a physical copy of a PS4 game, you will need to buy the PS5 console with a disc drive in order to upgrade to the PS5 version of the game. 

Horizon Forbidden West will launch on February 18, 2022 for the PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4.


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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40 Comments
VAMatt (on 04 September 2021)

Good on them for straightening this nonsense out. But, this was as dumb as MS trying to force people into Gamepass by eliminating XB Live annual subscriptions. It's a smaller scale screw up than the XBL fiasco, but it is pretty much the same level of stupid.

It seems like these gaming companies never learn.

  • +19
method114 VAMatt (on 04 September 2021)

lol I was thinking about the exact same thing. I don't think what Sony was doing was as bad (MS was a massive change to everyone in their ecosystem). It still seemed like something similar though.

  • +5
scrapking method114 (on 04 September 2021)

Since so many people are now on Game Pass Ultimate, or are on PC and didn't have to pay for Gold anyway, I actually think this was a bigger deal. Had this become the model for all future releases from Sony, everyone with a PS4 who intended to later buy a PS5 would have to buy each first-party game digitally (even if they wanted a physical copy) and pay $80 for it to get both versions of the game. Which was likely Sony's goal. So I think this was a MUCH bigger deal than the Gold fiasco. Good on both Sony and Microsoft for backing down in each case.

  • +10
thismeintiel scrapking (on 05 September 2021)

Definitely not worse than MS. This affected one game. MS was trying to force all Gold subs to convert to GP, by making Gold only severely overpriced. 6 months of Gold would cost as much as a year of PS+. And let's not forget, MS didn't actually completely reverse course, either. They did away with the 12 month subscription, which still raised the price of Gold by $20.

  • 0
scrapking thismeintiel (on 05 September 2021)

I disagree that this "affected one game". Had Sony been successful with this, I believe they would have moved to a model where PS4 games are $60, PS5 games are $70, and to get both you pay $80. So a growing number of people over time would be affected by this.

Whereas Gold is in decline as Game Pass Ultimate grows in popularity.

The 12 month Gold subscription still exists, I just bought one the other day for a friend (who was loading up on Gold before converting to Ultimate).

  • 0
zero129 scrapking (on 05 September 2021)

Did anyone miss the part that all future Sony Cross gen games will need a €10 upgrade. This doesnt only effect one game but them all.But yet MS are giving people "Free" upgrades for all their cross gen games. How is what MS are doing worse?.

  • -6
Kyuu scrapking (on 05 September 2021)

In no world is that worse than what MS tried to do lol. Crossgen games are a temporary stage that is already outstaying its welcome compared to previous generations, we won't be getting a lot of them after GoW and GT7.

PS4 will be rendered irrelevant sooner or later like every console that came before it.

  • +3
scrapking Kyuu (on 08 September 2021)

Overwhelmingly successful consoles tend to stick around longer than you suggest. The PS2 was an example of that, which has releases all the way until FIFA 2014. Since the PS4 was another overwhelmingly popular console (and still being kept around for now as a budget option by Sony). 100+ million units sold creates a lot of sales inertia. Pair that up with people wanting PS5s but not being able to get them, perhaps until 2023, and you have a recipe for PS4 support outlasting your prediction.

Now Xbox One support is a different story. Microsoft will likely have enough Series X|S consoles to satisfy on-going demand by sometime in 2022. Also, rather than keep the Xbox One S or X around as a budget option, they've instead released the Series S as a budget option based upon the new architecture (SSD, Quick Resume, Ray-Tracing, etc.). Between the Xbox One being less popular than the PS4, and Microsoft releasing a next-gen option to make upgrading easier for those on a budget, I think Xbox One software support actually will follow the trajectory you predict, with Halo Infinite and Forza Horizon 5 probably being two of the last big first-party titles on Xbox One.

  • 0
LudicrousSpeed thismeintiel (on 06 September 2021)

Fake news.

The 12 month option is gone through the console but you can still go to any store and buy a 12 month card or buy a digital code from virtually any retailer.

  • -1
scrapking LudicrousSpeed (on 08 September 2021)

Why anyone would down-vote your comment, LudicrousSpeed, is beyond me when the truth of your statement can be seen by going to the websites of many retailers.

  • 0
LudicrousSpeed scrapking (on 08 September 2021)

Console warriors

  • +3
Manlytears VAMatt (on 04 September 2021)

very well said.

  • +2
halil23 VAMatt (on 06 September 2021)

You mean the forced Kinect gimmick with each xblock sold?! That was the dumbest BS ever, but no surprise coming from an anti-consumer/anti-competitive corrupt corporation. Shocked that y'all forgot that or is it their "msms" clouding their head

  • -1
Vinther1991 (on 05 September 2021)

Great that the backlash worked. However, it truly is thought-provoking that there are people in the Sony leadership that are so out of touch that they think this won't result in a backlash. They made the same mistake when trying to shut down the PS3 and Vita servers.
At least they haven't gone the route of Nintendo, which comes down to: "Let's just ignore the backlash, the majority will buy our shit anyway".

  • +9
Hiku (on 05 September 2021)

That it was locked behind Deluxe/Collectors Editions was so strange that I almost thought they forgot to announce a regular option to upgrade. But apparently it was intentional. Ugh.
At least they responded and changed course very quickly, and laid out a clear plan going forward. It sounds like the $10 to upgrade for future first party titles is just because the PS5 versions will cost $70 instead of $60. So like Ghost of Tsushima, if you want the PS5 version, you may as well pick up the PS4 version for free. That said, the fact that their first party PS5 games will all cost $70 is another point of discussion that I'm sure we'll revisit many times.

  • +5
fauzman Hiku (on 08 September 2021)

Yep completely agree with you here. Was a stupid move that they corrected.
While measures like these are pretty bad, it is good to see both Sony and MS quickly recognise when they make mistakes and reverse course (for MS this would be when they raised the price of Xbox Gold recently) . It is at a great stage at the moment where these companies recognise the values of gamers and quickly respond to feedback.

  • +1
Hiku fauzman (on 08 September 2021)

Curious to see if the retail price of the PS5 version is going to be $70. If that's the case, I think many people will just buy the PS4 version digitally for $60 and then upgrade for free.

  • 0
fauzman Hiku (on 09 September 2021)

Well wont they have to pay $10 to upgrade to the ps5 version? For me personally, i am cheap and would much rather not have to pay so I am happy to just get a ps4 version and play it on the ps5.

  • 0
Hiku fauzman (on 09 September 2021)

For this particular game, they committed to it being a free upgrade. But for future first party games, you'll need to pay the $10 difference.

  • 0
Runa216 (on 05 September 2021)

I think what needs to be said about both companies (And you know what? all companies regardless of the medium or region) is that they're always trying to find new ways to make money and to give and take in ways that the market is receptive to.

Microsoft wanted to go full DRM with the Xbox One, and that flopped so they took it out. People hated it. So then they made GamePass, which in turn still forced people to keep paying them money every month, but the deal was actually quite good for gamers so it was recieved well.

Sony Went with a $10 increase on gen 9, which people didn't like. so they tried to do this with hiding the cross-gen version behind the special editions, which people hated even more so they went back to the increase, which by comparison seemed better.

IT's how this sort of stuff always works, and it's not just Microsoft and Sony. They will keep trying to find new ways to get more money out of you. They are not your friend, they are a corporation. their primary goal is to make money, and they'll keep trying things and scaling back until they find a balance that gets them the most money with an acceptable level of pushback.

The only way to gauge this is to vote with your wallet.

Personally, I embrace the $10 upgrade fee, as it's a lovely balance between the best practices for consumers (Free cross-gen buying) that Microsoft is doing and the dev-friendly but consumer unfriendly Nintendo method of just forcing you to pay full price for the new version. I think an upgrade fee makes sense from a fiscal and consumer perspective. Doubly so since you CAN play Ps4 games on the PS5, you don't NEED to get the PS5 version to play it on PS5. IT's not like these games are being locked to one console otherwise.

I'm glad they backpedaled on this, but I really don't think they were overstepping with the decision to keep the dual-entitlement locked behind the special edition.

  • +2
TheWalrusCaesar Runa216 (on 05 September 2021)

Well said. People always tend to forget that all of the big 3 are just here to make money and this stuff will always keep happening, we just have to say something if they try something dumb

  • +1
Azzanation (on 05 September 2021)

That $10 PS5 tax.. needs to go.

  • +2
LivncA_Dis3 (on 04 September 2021)

wow peer pressure sure does the trick!

  • +2
Kyuu (on 04 September 2021)

Good. Now to see what the $10 price difference will mean to sales split.

  • +1
Pinkie_pie Kyuu (on 04 September 2021)

99% PS4. Why would anyone buy the PS5 version when you they can just buy the cheaper version and get the free upgrade. The 1% will be from the collectors, special editions

  • +1
Kyuu Pinkie_pie (on 04 September 2021)

I might be crazy but I think first week split will be around 65% in PS5 version's favor and will extend to over 75% over time.

Reasons: Market unawareness, perceived complications, stock disparity, and the white PS5 theme 😜

  • -1
Pinkie_pie Kyuu (on 04 September 2021)

I just checked on PSN and the PS4 standard is indeed $10 cheaper than the ps5 standard edition. You might be right because I can't seem to find any PS4 version when logging in my PS5. I had to turn on the PS4 to pre order the PS4 version

  • +1
twintail Kyuu (on 05 September 2021)

Cross gen games have leaned heavily in favour of the PS5 release in the first weeks of sale The PS4 versions have generally held better over a longer period, though.

  • 0
Otter twintail (on 05 September 2021)

This is only with 3rd party, 1st party wise Miles Morales PS5 has been selling 80-90% of its units on PS5 post launch. The games charting position is highly dependent on PS5 stock.

  • 0
Kyuu twintail (on 05 September 2021)

I think that differs case by case depending on region and stock availability. But the longer we are into the generation, the less relevant PS4 will be. We've been there before.

  • 0
Otter (on 04 September 2021)

Good! Does this mean the game is now officially $60?

  • +1
trunkswd Otter (on 04 September 2021)

Highly doubt it. I am sure they will still charge $70 for it.

  • +5
Pinkie_pie trunkswd (on 04 September 2021)

I'm just gonna buy the $60 PS4 version and get the free upgrade

  • 0
trunkswd Pinkie_pie (on 04 September 2021)

As long as the PS4 version is $60 that would make the most sense to do. Though future 1st party games will cost $10 to upgrade.

  • +4
Pinkie_pie trunkswd (on 04 September 2021)

So the free upgrade now is because of people can't get their hands on PS5 makes sense

  • +1
Otter trunkswd (on 05 September 2021)

Its a shame because I was hoping we would get some interesting data here on whether there is a point in other games like GOW being cross gen. My suspicion was that Horizon launch week sales would be 90% + on PS5, this however will throw that off.

  • 0
AdvanceWebSolutions (on 06 September 2021)

Sony needs this as a big wake up call that they cannot get complacent or arrogant. XBOX got burned for their awful no game sharing policies a generation back before they reversed things but damage had been done. Sony's in the driver seat it's their race to lose by shooting themselves in the foot.

  • 0
Dante9 (on 06 September 2021)

Why would anyone buy both versions in the first place? Just pick which gen you are going to go with and buy that version. Boom, solved.

  • 0
gtotheunit91 (on 04 September 2021)

Thank god!!! As great of a reversal this is, we’re not over with Jim Ryan boneheaded decisions in the future lol but as long as the backlash is strong enough like the PSP, PS3, and Vita storefront shutdowns and here, we should be fine. Sony first party studios will still be putting out amazing games!

  • -1
LudicrousSpeed (on 06 September 2021)

Like I said in the other article, this was the most likely outcome. I think executives sometimes forget that the Internet has receipts on everything.

  • -3