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Sony ‘PS5 Upgrade’ Box Art Learns From Xbox’s Ugly Mistake

Last Updated September 23, 2020 2:29 PM
Thomas Bardwell
Last Updated September 23, 2020 2:29 PM
  • Ubisoft has released box art for the upcoming Immortals Fenyx Rising.
  • The art features new ‘PS5 Upgrade Available’ branding.
  • Sony’s unobtrusive branding stands in stark contrast to Xbox’s since-removed ‘Optimized for Xbox Series X’ logo.

According to newly-released box art for Ubisoft’s Immortals Fenyx Rising  – formerly known as Gods & Monsters – physical PS4 games are set to feature ‘PS5 Upgrade’ branding.

The new label, which appears center-bottom on the front cover as ‘PS5 Upgrade Available’, will offer players a clear indication of what current-gen games include an upgrade path to a next-gen PS5 version. Immortals Fenyx Rising is but the first indication of this, with Sony yet to officially confirm the branding.

PS5 Upgrade Available. | Source: Ubisoft/Amazon UK

The new badge follows a similar branding move from Microsoft, where ‘Optimized for Xbox Series X’ was set to feature on the front cover of physical games.

Its prominence led to a backlash from players, criticizing Microsoft for cluttering up the box art with a chunky logo. The gaming giant listened, relegating the ‘Optimized for Xbox Series X’ (now ‘Optimized for Xbox Series X|S ‘ following this week’s flurry of announcements) to the back cover.

Seemingly learning from Microsoft’s mistake, Sony has adopted a far less obtrusive and cleaner design that communicates what’s needed to PS5 players without encroaching on to valuable box art real estate. While probably better suited to a spot on the back cover, Sony’s iteration is undoubtedly easier on the eyes.

Backlash saw Microsoft relegate the logo to the back of the box. | Source: Codemasters

As Sony has yet to comment on the new branding officially, details about what exactly ‘PS5 Upgrade Available’ entails are sparse.

It will be interesting to see whether it will be reserved for no-strings-attached free upgrades for titles such as Cyberpunk 2077 and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, or will also encompass limited third-party initiatives such as EA’s timed Dual Entitlement for titles like Madden NFL 21.

Similarly, it’s unclear whether Sony will make the badge mandatory or leave it to the discretion of publishers.