PS5 will now warn players launching PS4 versions of cross-gen games

(Image credit: Sony)

Sony has added a warning to PS5 consoles to help prevent players accidentally launching PS4 versions of cross-gen games.

Many new games – including Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla – are compatible on both PS4 and PS5 systems, leaving some players unsure how to launch a specific version of a title.

Now, players launching cross-gen games on PS5 will be met with a message reading: “You're about to play the PS4 version of this game. Do you want to switch to the PS5 version?", followed by an option to download/play the PS4 version or switch to the PS5 version. 

It’s a welcome update, spotted by @Tidux on Twitter, which fixes the need for players to navigate complex UI menus in order to discern which version of a game is being played.

The issue seemed particularly pertinent to those with digital iterations of cross-gen titles. Purchasing a digital cross-gen game – FIFA 21, for example – automatically prompts the system to download both the PS4 and PS5 versions from the PS Store, leaving many players confused as to which version they were playing when launching the game from the home screen.

Now, though, Sony seems to have addressed the issue.

Microsoft solution

Cross-gen confusion isn’t an issue limited to Sony consoles. Xbox players have also encountered the complexity of ensuring which version of a game is which, although Microsoft seems to have landed on a better solution. 

Xbox Series X (and Xbox Series S) consoles are equipped with Smart Delivery, a system that assigns a badge to signify the particular generation of a game in a player’s library. What’s more, the Xbox will automatically launch the best version of a game when a title is selected, regardless of the generation chosen. 

So, if an Xbox Series X player starts the Xbox One version of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, the system will automatically switch to the optimized newer-gen version. 

In any case, Sony’s slightly clunkier solution will nevertheless go some way to preventing the head-scratching that comes from busy, multi-gen game libraries.

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Axel Metz
Phones Editor

Axel is TechRadar's UK-based Phones Editor, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest AI breakthroughs as part of the site's Mobile Computing vertical. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.  Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.