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Sony Doesn't Even Attempt to Justify Spider-Man's Lack of Free PS5 Upgrade

Peter Parker's game is buried under red tape.

As we head into the new generation of consoles, the question of free upgrades for games across generations is becoming a hot topic once again. While a relatively new perk of upgrading to a new console (it really became a selling point last generation when we were heading into the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One generation), allowing people who own a game on an old system to freely upgrade to its new system counterpart has kind of become the standard this gen. Huge games like Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla and Cyberpunk 2077 are taking advantage of this, so when developers and publishers choose not to take any such option, it comes with a fair bit of scrutiny. Under the microscope today is Marvel’s Spider-Man. No, not the upcoming spin-off/sequel Spider-Man: Miles Morales, the original game starring Peter Parker that launched on PlayStation 4 in 2018.

Peter’s game is being made available on PlayStation 5 as part of an Ultimate Edition of Spider-Man: Miles Morales, which will get you both games for $70 USD. But as it turns out, that bundle is the only means of getting the game Sony has in place when the PlayStation 5 launches on November 12. Anyone who wants the PS5 version of Peter Parker’s game will have to either buy the Ultimate Edition, or take a $20 hit as part of an upgrade plan if you already own Miles Morales.

Full statement on the issue via Kotaku:

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Remastered is an enhanced version of Marvel’s Spider-Man, and is included as part of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Ultimate Edition for the PlayStation 5. In addition, players who purchase Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales on PlayStation 4 can upgrade at no additional cost to the PS5 version of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales and can take advantage of a paid-upgrade to download Marvel’s Spider-Man: Remastered.

There are no plans currently to offer Marvel’s-Spider-Man: Remastered as a standalone. Players with a copy of Marvel’s Spider-Man for PS4 can purchase Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Ultimate Edition to experience Marvel’s Spider-Man: Remastered on PS5. Marvel’s Spider-Man for PS4 also will be backwards compatible on PS5.

So…that’s a choice. Ultimately, I’m not sure I follow the reasoning here beyond the obvious money grab. If it’s meant to ensure Miles Morales makes its money back by being the product people have to buy, then I guess there’s some sense there, but wouldn’t allowing people to purchase the original game to test the waters incentivize them to buy a sequel? That’s not even taking into account the lack of tangible reasoning for not including the upgrade for people who own the original game. The last sentence, “Marvel’s Spider-Man for PS4 also will be backwards compatible on PS5,” has big Don Mattrick telling people to buy an Xbox 360 if they can’t play an Xbox One energy.

In other news:

The reasoning is wack, and puts Spider-Man alongside Control as examples of companies blatantly avoiding systems in place that others are using to save people money and get more players playing their games. At least Sony’s being fairly upfront about this being a money grab by not attempting to justify it, where 505 Games was caught doing the thing it straight up said it couldn’t do to allow Control owners to freely upgrade to the next-gen versions.

About the Author

Kenneth Shepard

Kenneth is a Staff Writer at Fanbyte. He still periodically cries about the Mass Effect trilogy years after it concluded.