Sony has announced an upgrade program for selected games that are available on both the PS3 and PS4. You won’t have to buy a brand new copy, but there will be a fee of about 10 bucks.
Upgrading is something of an issue because the PS4 doesn’t offer backwards compatibility with PS3 discs. That’s likely got Sony and game developers a little worried that buyers may put off getting some of the latest PS3 games if they are planning to upgrade consoles in the next few months — particularly if they will be selling or trading in their PS3.
The program covers Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Watch_Dogs and Battlefield 4. If you buy these games on PS3, you’ll be able to get the PS4 version for $10 (with the predictable dubious translation to £10 in the UK and €10 in Europe).
UK and European customers can also upgrade NBA 2K14 for £11.99 or €14.99: it’s not clear why the pounds sterling to Euro ratio is different with this game.
If you buy a PS3 digital copy of any of these games, the PS4 download should be ready to buy at the reduced price as soon as you log into the PlayStation store on the new console (or when the game is actually released on PS4 if there are any delays.)
For physical copies, you get a code inside the box. You can use this code in the store to bring up the option to download on PS4 at the reduced price. If you really fancy letting Sony have a bit of extra interest on your cash, you can even buy the PS4 edition on your PS3, ready to download as soon as you get the new console. Each game has a specific deadline for redeeming the code, ranging from January to March next year.
If you’re thinking there’s an obvious trade-in scam to pull here, there’s on big catch. Although the PS4 can’t actually play games from a PS3 disc, it does appear it will be able to recognize what’s on a disc. Sony has taken advantage of that: if you are upgrading from a PS3 disc, you’ll need to have the disc in your PS4 whenever you play your cut-price download.
(Rather confusingly, Sony warns players to *not* have the PS3 disc in the PS4 when they download and install the PS4 version as this could cause problems.)
Whether the PS4 editions will be “ten bucks better” than the PS3 original will vary from case to case. For example, Assassins Creed offers three additional missions on PS4.