- Sony recently released an update for the PS5 that will warn players if they are about to start up a PS4 version of a game when there is a PS5 version available.
- Previously, it was hard to tell if you were playing the PS4 version or PS5 version of a game.
- Last month, some Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War players realized they had unknowingly installed the PS4 version of the game and were playing it on PS5.
Sony was annoyingly tight-lipped about the PlayStation 5 for much of 2020, but shortly before the console launched, we were finally ensured that an overwhelming majority of PS4 games would be backward compatible with the PS5. It came as a huge relief to PS4 owners who wanted to bring their game libraries with them when they upgrade, and will make the transition much easier for those who actually manage to get their hands on a PS5.
As many have discovered in the weeks following the console’s launch, backward compatibility is relatively seamless, but some PS4 games are also being released with next-gen versions on the PS5, and it can be difficult to know if you are playing the PS4 version of a game or the PS5 version. Last month, some early adopters began realizing that they were playing the wrong version of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. Activision went as far as to explain how to pick the right version in a tweet. Thankfully, Sony appears to have quietly fixed this problem.
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As spotted by Twitter user Tidux, the PlayStation 5 will now warn you if you are about to start playing the PS4 version of a game that has a free next-gen update. A number of games have two versions already, including Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Borderlands 3, Destiny 2, No Man’s Sky, and Watch Dogs: Legion. More will arrive in the months to come as well, such as Cyberpunk 2077, which has been slammed for how poorly its last-gen version runs.
— Tidux (@Tidux) December 22, 2020
I actually praised the way that the PS5 handled multiple versions of games in my review last month, but now that I’ve spent significantly more time with both the PS5 and the Xbox Series X, there’s no question that Microsoft has a better system. Smart Delivery on Xbox makes sure that you always have the best version of a given game running on your console. If a game is Optimized for Series X|S, that’s the version you’ll get on your new console.
As needlessly complicated as the PS5 system was, the worst part had to be the fact that players weren’t told when a next-gen version of their game was available. With this update, that will no longer be an issue, as the console will ask you to confirm the version of the game that you want to play before you start. Hopefully, Sony will continue to refine this system in the weeks and months ahead to catch up with the Xbox Series X.