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Sony will offer free PS5 upgrades for all Horizon: Forbidden West owners after all

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On Thursday, Sony announced a convoluted and unpopular system for PlayStation 4 owners of the upcoming Horizon: Forbidden West to upgrade to the PlayStation 5 version of the game. Sony was only going to allow this if you bought the $80 digital deluxe edition or the even more expensive collector’s editions. If you bought the $60 base PS4 version, you wouldn’t be able to upgrade.

In an update to the PlayStation Blog post today, Sony Interactive Entertainment president and CEO Jim Ryan walked this back, instead promising a free upgrade path for everyone. He also noted that future cross-gen first-party PlayStation exclusives, including God of War: Ragnarok and Gran Turismo 7, will offer $10 digital upgrade options. He wrote:

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 sounds like Sony had initially only planned to offer free cross-gen upgrades for  “launch titles,” which it likely defined as games released during the console’s first year. Sony must have initially figured that deal didn’t count for Horizon anymore after delaying it to 2022.

This, predictably, upset many PlayStation owners. Microsoft has offered easy cross-gen support through its smart delivery system, and Sony was looking comparatively greedy with its initial plans for Horizon: Forbidden West.

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Many gamers, however, are quick to forgive blunders like this. Early this year, Microsoft planned to increase the price for Xbox Live Gold. After a similar outcry, Microsoft reversed course and turned a mistake into a PR win. Sony could be doing the same thing here.

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