Unlike Microsoft, Sony isn’t doing something like Smart Delivery that ensures players are playing the best version for whichever console they’re playing, whether that be the PlayStation 4 or newly-released PlayStation 5. For those that don’t know, Smart Delivery is a system Microsoft put in place for the launch of the Xbox Series X/S so people wouldn’t buy an Xbox Series game by mistake if they didn’t own the console. It essentially gives you access to both the Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S versions of compatible games and downloads the appropriate version depending on which console you’re downloading to. PlayStation 5 has no such named system in place, but it’s now apparently letting you know that you’re playing a PlayStation 4 game on the shiny newer console when the PS5 version is readily available.
News of the update first appeared online when users like @Tidux on Twitter noticed a prompt when trying to play the PlayStation 4 version of Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla. The new message asks players to confirm the version of the game they want to play, putting some line of defense in the way of you playing those filthy last-gen games on your PS5. [Thanks VGC]
— Tidux (@Tidux) December 22, 2020
This will ensure that if you have a game that’s eligible for an upgrade to a PS5 port that you’ll be made aware of that fact and get the up-to-date version. Along with the alert, buying a cross-gen compatible game will now let you download either version from the PlayStation Store, so there’s more in place now to alleviate some of the confusion, even if there’s no fancy name to go along with a larger initiative here.
Just got dirt 5, and it gave me a choice to Wich version I would like to download.
That's good pic.twitter.com/02k2bQcxqh
— Daniel Ricardo (@danielc4vtr) December 22, 2020
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Several PlayStation 4 games have free upgrades in place for people who want to play the PS5 version like Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, Dirt 5, and Spider-Man: Miles Morales. However, whether or not these upgrades are available is left to the discretion of developers and publishers. The reasoning around these cases has not painted companies in the best light. Sony itself pulled this with the remaster of 2018’s Spider-Man and didn’t really attempt to justify it.
Control: Ultimate Edition was caught up in its own controversy, as publisher 505 Games announced the only way anyone would get a next-gen upgrade for the action game was if they purchased the more expensive definitive edition, regardless of if they’d already bought the additional content by other means. The explanation given for this was that a decision had to be made about which SKU would qualify for an upgrade, and since buying the original game and its DLC didn’t line-up with the Ultimate Edition SKU, anyone who wanted a PS5 or Xbox Series X/S copy would have to either buy it on the system or have the Ultimate Edition. But after a slip-up on the digital storefronts, this was proven not to be the case as owners of Control and its season pass were briefly able to download the Ultimate Edition. The error was quickly changed, but not before exposing the reality of the situation. The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S version of Control: Ultimate Edition will launch on February 2 digitally, with the physical copies set to follow a month later on March 2.