Sony has issued a dramatic U-turn on its controversial Horizon Forbidden West PlayStation 4 to PlayStation 5 upgrade policy following a vociferous backlash.
Sony was heavily criticised after it confirmed Horizon Forbidden West's standard and special editions did not include Dual Entitlement, Sony's label for granting you both the PS4 and PS5 versions of the same game, after Sony had previously said it would offer free upgrades for its cross-gen launch titles.
In an update issued to the PlayStation Blog, Sony Interactive Entertainment boss Jim Ryan said its offers for Guerrilla's Horizon Forbidden West "missed the mark".
Ryan addressed the fact Sony had previously said it would offer free upgrades for its cross-gen launch titles, pointing to Horizon Forbidden West's delay to February 2022, which pushed the game "out of the launch window we initially envisioned".
Sony will now stand by its original offer, and let those who buy Horizon Forbidden West on PS4 upgrade to the PS5 version for free.
Not only that, Ryan promised all PlayStation first-party exclusive cross-gen titles (newly releasing on PS4 & PS5) - both digital and physical - will offer a $10 digital upgrade option from PS4 to PS5.
This applies to the next God of War, Gran Turismo 7 and any other exclusive cross-gen PS4 & PS5 title published by Sony Interactive Entertainment, Sony said.
Of note: Sony said to upgrade an eligible PS4 game on disc to the digital PS5 version, you need a PS5 console with a disc drive. "PS4 game discs can't be used with the PS5 Digital Edition," Sony pointed out.
Here's Ryan's statement in full:
"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.
"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.
"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."
It's a decision sure to go down well among the gaming community after what has been a week of anger directed at PlayStation bosses. And it follows the similarly dramatic U-turn on its decision to shut down the PlayStation 3 and Vita digital stores, following fan criticism.
And it's also worth pointing out Sony $10 digital upgrade option still falls short of Microsoft's Smart Delivery feature, which grants you the upgraded version of an Xbox game for free.