UPDATE: Late Saturday, Sony reversed course and updated its blog, confirming that it will in fact offer a free Horizon Forbidden West upgrade from PS4 to PS5. Our original story continues below.
On Thursday, Sony announced that its Horizon Forbidden West game, sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn, would be available for pre-order ahead of its February 2022 release date. But contrary to what Sony said last year (h/t Forbes), there’s no upgrade path for the game from PlayStation 4 to PlayStation 5.
In a September 2020 blog post, Sony said Horizon Forbidden West would be among the games to have a free upgrade from PS4 versions to the PS5 version:
“Additionally, 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 PS4 digital versions of launch games include a free upgrade on both PS5 consoles, while the PS4 disc versions of these games include a free upgrade on the PS5 with Ultra HD Blu-Ray disc drive.”
And as Polygon points out, Jim Ryan, chief executive of Sony Interactive Entertainment, told the Washington Post’s Launcher section last year that games for PS5 would be “built from the ground up.” and that for games like Horizon Forbidden West and Spider-Man: Miles Morales, the company had “an upgrade path for PS4 users to get the PS5 versions for free.”
Ryan told the Post that “no one should be disappointed,” adding that “It’s about people having choice.”
But what Sony announced this week was... not that. Gamers who want to start playing Horizon Forbidden West on PS4 will have to buy the more expensive versions of the game that offer digital copies for both consoles: those packages are priced at $79.99 for the Digital Deluxe edition, $199.99 for the Collector’s edition, and $259.99 for the Regalla edition. Otherwise, you can get the PS4 standard edition for $59.99 and buy an entirely new PS5 copy of the game later at its full price of $69.99. There are no plans for an upgrade in the future, according to the support page for Horizon Forbidden West.