Despite previous assurances to the contrary, Sony has announced PS4 versions of several first-party PS5 exclusives.
As is so often the case, accompanying last night’s PS5 showcase was a flurry of activity on the PlayStation Blog. One post focused on the standout news from the event – the price and release date for the next-gen console.
Nestled in further details about its launch plans, Sony announced that several PS5 games, previously confirmed as next-gen exclusives, are also heading to PS4.
“We know that the PS4 community will transition to PS5 at different times, and we’re happy to announce PS4 versions of some of our exclusives. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Sackboy A Big Adventure, and Horizon Forbidden West will also launch on PS4. While these three games were designed to take advantage of PS5 and its unique next-gen features like the ultra-high-speed SSD and DualSense controller, PS4 owners will also be able to enjoy these experiences when they launch.”
The move stands in stark contrast to Sony’s previous stance asserting its ‘belief in generations,’ implying a line in the sand, a commitment to the ‘features and benefits that the previous generation does not include,’ dashing expectations of cross-gen releases.
Hot on the heels of Sony’s announcement, an interview with PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan conducted by the Washington Post surfaced , noting:
“The PS4 community will continue to be incredibly important to us for three or four years. Many will transition to PS5, we hope if we do our job well, but tens of millions will still be engaged with the PS4.”
There are naturally concerns that cross-gen releases may curtail some of Sony’s first-party studios’ ambitions as focus shifts from tapping into the better hardware of the PS5 to ensuring the games can run on PS4. Ryan says these are unfounded, and ‘no one should be disappointed.’
“The PS5 versions of those games are built from the ground up to take advantage of the PS5 feature set, and we have an upgrade path for PS4 users to get the PS5 versions for free. It’s about people having choice. I’m really quite pleased about the situation.”
Serving PS4 owners for a few additional years is a no-brainer given the console has sold over 110 million units in lifetime sales. The gripe isn’t so much the news, but the delivery.
The dissonance in Sony’s messaging has taken some of the shine off of yesterday’s PS5 event, and lined-up alongside the pre-order blunder, it won’t do Sony’s credibility any favors but is one ultimately benefiting PS4 players holding back on making the jump to the next-gen right away.