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HomeTechnologyYes, The Loophole With Sony’s ‘Horizon Forbidden West’ Reversal Is Obvious

Yes, The Loophole With Sony’s ‘Horizon Forbidden West’ Reversal Is Obvious


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Late last night, Sony gave into pushback from fans about a lack of an upgrade path from the PS4 version of Horizon Forbidden West to a PS5 version purchased later. Instead, players were being asked to buy an $80 “both version” Deluxe Edition from the start.

Compounding that was the fact that Sony had previously said that Horizon, as a “launch window” game, would be a free PS4 to PS5 upgrade, and yesterday’s announcement said that yes, they would in fact stick by that. But in the future, games like Gran Turismo and God of War would have a $10 upgrade fee, reflecting the $60 to $70 price difference.

This does, however, raise a key question. Why would anyone now pay $70 for the PS5 version of Horizon Forbidden West instead of $60 for the PS4 version, and then upgrade it for free?

There’s no answer to this. That is what everyone, in theory, should do, unless you really want a PS5 copy of the game on a physical disc or feel like tipping Sony $10 for their service. That’s the only reason, unless somehow, Sony prevents PS5 owners from purchasing the digital PS4 edition, which I don’t think will happen, as that would be another uproar.

No doubt a number of PS5 players have probably already pre-ordered the game at $70, and I imagine that while some may cancel and rebuy the PS4 version after this, I’m sure a number will simply forget to or not care enough. But for new purchasers, no, it’s hard to envision a reason you’d spend the $70 instead of doing the $60 with a free upgrade path. The $80 edition that started all this, still exists, but now you’re buying that solely for the additional content it offers, not to be able to play on both consoles.

Why did Sony set things up this way so players have no motivation to spend $70 on the PS5 version? I mean, I sure don’t think this is where they wanted to end up, but they found themselves trapped by what they said a year ago, which is why they made it clear this is the last time this will happen. And while there may not be a lack of an upgrade path for cross-gen games in the future, it will cost $10 going forward, so this won’t happen twice.

The narrative in the wake of this is that Sony “lied” and tried to pull a fast one on consumers. I would take a more charitable view that I believe they might have just literally forgot they ever said this out loud a year ago, that Horizon would get a free upgrade, as it only stems from a single blog post and Jim Ryan quote. I can see how that might have been easy to overlook, but it’s also no surprise fans found it. Sony’s stated explanation was that the recent delay pushed it outside the PS5 launch window, which is why they felt they didn’t need to do a free upgrade anymore, but I don’t think that makes them look particularly good either. Again, I’m willing to bet they just forgot.

But, here we are. You can get PS5 Horizon Forbidden West, a rare oasis in this “everything costs $70” era we now live in. Enjoy it while you can.

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Pick up my sci-fi novels the Herokiller series, and The Earthborn Trilogy, which is also on audiobook.


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