I’m fine with the Nintendo Switch 2 charging for backwards compatibility upgrades

Horizon Forbidden West screenshot

Horizon Forbidden West – did you pay for an upgrade? (Sony Interactive Entertainment)

A reader argues that Sony’s approach to charging for game upgrades, while confusing, is fair and something Nintendo should try to copy.

As a Switch owner, I’m waiting for news on Switch 2’s backward compatibility and upgrade paths. I’m pretty sure it will be backwards compatible, but I really don’t know if Nintendo will offer upgrade paths or charge full price for native Switch 2 will provide versions of Switch games or free boosts to Switch games that are backwards compatible.

But looking back, I’d say Sony has struck a pretty good balance, even if they do or lack some guts for upgrade paths. I think the biggest problem is how confusing it all is.

Most first-party native PlayStation 4 games that are backwards compatible on PlayStation 5 have received a free patch that gives a transformative, for me, 60fps mode. However, it’s baffling to most that the most requested version – Bloodborne – hasn’t done that yet.

Where a native PlayStation 5 version has been released with additional work carried out on graphics or new modes, a not too blatant £10 upgrade path has been offered. They also had a grace period before launch where you got both PlayStation 4 and 5 versions for the PlayStation 4 price.

Horizon Forbidden West was part of that, but when it slipped out of the PlayStation 5 launch window, Sony tried to charge the upgrade fee. The pushback caused them to apologize and respect the original launch window criteria.

Full remakes like Demon’s Souls are perfectly reasonably priced releases. The only time I think they misjudged it and the work didn’t reflect a full price release or didn’t offer an upgrade path was The Last Of Us Part 1.

They also scrapped Uncharted 4 on PSN right before the original PlayStation 5 Uncharted: Legacy Of Thieves Collection came out, which was a bit gross. But I think you still have the option to buy the PlayStation 4 disc version and thus gain access to the £10 PlayStation 5 digital upgrade. The PlayStation 5 version also had the DLC and was sensibly left out for sold full price. I believe it was €45. But at this stage you’ll find the PlayStation 5 version on PSN sale and this is probably the cheapest way to get your hands on it.

Personally, I didn’t choose the upgrade option on most games because I’m really interested in 60fps and most of them received a free patch. The PlayStation 4 The Last of Us Remastered already runs at 60 fps, so I’m not going to worry about The Last Of Us Part 1 either. I did pick up the £10 upgrade path for Uncharted 4 though, as I didn’t own the well-received DLC and the upgrade path gave you that.

I could be wrong, but I also think that PlayStation 4 Uncharted 4 didn’t receive a free 60fps patch because they probably want you to upgrade to the PlayStation 5 version. That was again a bit ugly, but since the DLC was thrown in and I didn’t have it, it was a good value for me. I wonder if this is the reason Bloodborne doesn’t have a 60fps patch, as a PlayStation 5 remaster/remake is being considered.

It could be wrong again but I think cross-gen games like God Of War Ragnarök also didn’t receive free backwards compatible patches to make the 30fps PlayStation 4 version 60fps on PlayStation 5 and you’ll have the £10 upgrade path must get PlayStation 5 to access it.

Overall, I can play most of my purchased Sony first party games from the PlayStation 4 era at 60fps with a free patch on PlayStation 5. Games like Ghost Of Tsushima, Days Gone, God Of War, The Last of Us Part 2 and Horizon Zero Dawn. And where that doesn’t work, the £10 upgrade path isn’t too bad. But like I said before, it’s an ungodly mess knowing what received what.

By reader Simundo

Bloodborne still

Maybe even Bloodborne will get an update one day (Sony Interactive Entertainment)

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