What's the value of next-gen exclusive features? For Sony, it's £9.
Last week Sony announced Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut, which is due out August on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.
In doing so, Sony set the cat among the pigeons by putting a price on the various last-gen to current-gen upgrade paths.
Let's break it all down. Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut, which includes the Iki Island expansion, the Legends online co-op mode, a digital mini art book, director's commentary, one technique point, the Charm of Hachiman's favour and the Hero of Tsushima skin set, costs £69.99 on the PlayStation Store. Yep, PS5 games are still £70 (that's a whole other story).
If you want the PS4 upgrade from the OG Ghost of Tsushima to the Director's Cut, that costs £15.99. That's the PS4 to PS4 upgrade.
If you already own Ghost of Tsushima on PS4, you can upgrade to Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut on PS5 for £24.99. That's the PS4 to PS5 upgrade.
But what if you already own Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut on PS4, and you want to upgrade to Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut on PS5, perhaps down the line when you manage to buy one of the hard-to-get consoles? That'll cost you £9.
Here, Sony is putting a price on what it considers to be the value of the PS5-exclusive features it's adding to Ghost of Tsushima. What do you get for your £9? Here's the official list, as it's set out on the PlayStation Store:
- Dynamic 4K resolution targeting 60fps
- DualSense haptic feedback and adaptive trigger resistance
- 3D audio with stereo headphones (analogue or USB)
- Lip sync for Japanese voiceover
- Ability to transfer PS4 saved progress to PS5 game
There's been a vociferous debate about the rights and wrongs of this move by Sony. It's already a sorry situation where Sony locks next-gen features behind a Director's Cut paywall, but £9 for improved 3D audio, DualSense support, and Japanese lip sync feels grubby.
Sony's policy here is in stark contrast to the approach taken by Microsoft, which offers free next-gen upgrades for its Xbox games. Some third-party publishers do, too. But now Sony, which, let's remember, did offer a free next-gen upgrade for Insomniac's wonderful Spider-Man: Miles Morales, is not.
As you'd expect, this hasn't gone down well. "Makes the decision easy for me to wait it out and get it cheaper down the line," wrote redditor k2theablam. Sucker Punch's Twitter page is dominated by replies from frustrated fans, too.
Will Sony U-turn on this? Doubtful. It'll let the market decide. If it makes bucketloads of money from this next-gen upgrade, it'll do it again. If customers vote with their wallets and stay away, it will try something else. We'll find out soon enough.