Sony also commits to $10 upgrade paths for future releases.
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Just a few days back, we reported that the upcoming release of Horizon Forbidden West would not have a free upgrade path from the Standard PlayStation 4 version to the PlayStation 5 version. In fact, there wasn't even a direct paid upgrade route. The only way you could possibly be given a dual entitlement was to purchase the $80 (USD) Digital Deluxe Edition at a bare minimum. So, if you own a PS4 now and think that maybe you'll get a PS5 in the future, the only way to avoid purchasing the game twice would be to spend at least $80. Other Editions that included dual entitlements were the $200 Collector's Edition and the $260 Regalla Edition.

This caused quite the stir amongst the gaming community. Why was there no free upgrade path? Why isn't there even a cheap upgrade path option? Just WTF are you doing, Sony?! And so on... In fact, it was such a hot topic of discussion that we posed the question asking if next-gen upgrades should be free in our monthly poll here.

It seems now as though Sony has heard the complaints. This weekend, the company abruptly backtracked on their initial plans and will now offer a free Horizon Forbidden West upgrade from the PlayStation 4 to the PlayStation 5.

President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, Jim Ryan, made an unusual weekend statement that talks about this sudden change.

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.
This is certainly some great news here. Though it now begs the question: Why purchase the $70 PS5 version when you can get that free upgrade from the $60 PS4 version? Ah well, let's not dwell on that part too much right now.

Ryan continued on to say that PlayStation first-party exclusive cross-gen titles will now offer a flat $10 (USD) digital upgrade option from PS4 to PS5. He states that this will apply to the next God of War and Gran Turismo 7 releases along with "any other exclusive cross-gen PS4 & PS5 titles published by Sony Interactive Entertainment."

All things considered, this really does seem like the smartest move that Sony could make. Next-gen titles are apparently going to keep moving forward with that $10 "next-gen tax" so the $10 upgrade cost from the previous gen just makes the most sense. Free would be great, but that would either mean both generations would need to release at $60 or $70, and I just can't see studios cutting prices on next-gen releases and I can't see consumers being happy about $10 increases on previous gen releases either.

Anyway, here's the pre-order announcement video for Horizon Forbidden West that I cannot remember if I posted in that earlier story or not right now (and I'm literally too lazy to go check).