Sony won’t have an upgrade program to migrate PS4 games to the next-gen console, according to an interview with SIE Japan on Japanese site Gamespark. Instead, the company will reportedly let publishers decide how and when to offer cross-gen upgrades.
This means that studios can offer the upgrade but it won’t be mandatory. The PS5 reportedly won’t have a unified system and Sony will only provide support for those who decide on their own to offer the cross-gen upgrade. But PS4 games submitted after July 13 reportedly must be compatible with PS5.
Madden NFL 21 was announced to receive a free upgrade for PS5 and Xbox Series X yesterday, so many questioned if Sony would offer a service similar to Microsoft’s Smart Delivery. With this service, players can buy a game that works on any Xbox console they have or future ones.
Owners of the physical version of Madden NFL 21 on PS4 won’t be able to upgrade to the digital version, however, if they opt for the disc-less PS5 Digital Edition because EA can’t verify ownership of a physical copy without the existence of the disc.
Microsoft, on the other hand, doesn’t mandate Smart Delivery either, so fans should expect a good amount of compatible games for the PS5 and Xbox Series X regardless. Sony already explained in a blog post that backward compatibility will be a feature of the PS5 with an “overwhelming majority of 4,000+ PS4 titles.”