In a week that saw Sony confirm its acquisition of Housemarque and announce an enhanced edition of Ghost of Tsushima, it’s truly impressive that its fans are primarily talking about free PS4 to PS5 upgrades. In the case of Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut, of course, there isn’t one – it costs $19.99 to upgrade your existing PS4 version and then a further $9.99 to convert it to the next-gen edition.
We’ve already explained how this proves PS5 is for the payers – no longer necessarily for the players – and it seems many agree: the top story on Reddit’s gigantic PS5 community right now concerns this very topic, while a quick glance at developer Sucker Punch’s Twitter replies reveals that fans are feeling pretty frustrated with this latest example of next-gen nickel-and-diming.
Here’s the problem: the expansion sounds excellent and we have no qualms about paying for it. We’ve also got to give the Seattle studio huge credit for adding the Ghost of Tsushima: Legends expansion for free, as well as committing to various other quality of life improvements for everyone. But in an age where the likes of Metro: Exodus are rolling out PS5 ports for free, this tax is unacceptable.
It’s clear that Sony values the content of the Director’s Cut at $19.99, so it’s effectively charging $9.99 extra for improved 3D audio, DualSense controller support, and Japanese lip sync. Presumably there’ll be other technological bells and whistles – the studio has already mentioned faster loading times – but these are largely expected of next-gen upgrades. Sorry, but the precedent has already been set.
This week, Bethesda – a Microsoft-owned published – released a free PS5 upgrade for DOOM Eternal. Heck, we’ve even seen smaller publishers, like Tripwire Interactive for goodness sake, offer meaningful free upgrades to Maneater. Even Sony, back at PS5’s launch last year, allowed fans to upgrade their PS4 copies of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales at no extra cost.
It’s no wonder that an announcement which should have been a slam-dunk has already turned sour. There’s a chance that the bad publicity will prompt Sony to reverse its decision, but we also wouldn’t be surprised if it believes wringing an extra $9.99 out of early adopters is worth the backlash. Either way, it all leaves a bad taste, doesn’t it?