PS5’s messy save transfers could now be a thing of the past

PS5 internal storage concern
(Image credit: Sony)

Transferring a PS4 save to PS5 should become a far more seamless experience in the future, if Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut is anything to go by.

The PS5 version of Sucker Punch’s open-world samurai epic provides an option to transfer an existing PS4 save directly from the game’s main menu, and it’s only the second game that doesn’t require you to download an existing PlayStation 4 save file that has already been uploaded to the cloud.

As pointed out by Digital Foundry, this is due to a technical issue on PS5 that has recently been resolved, and it should pave the way to smoother save transfers that require less hoops for players and developers to jump through.  

Digital Foundry technology editor Richard Leadbetter said: “Up until recently, the PS5 system software has [sic] no visibility or access to any PlayStation 4 data on your console, meaning that highly convoluted means were required to move progress from one generation to the next. Essentially, the PS4 version of the game had to be patched to allow game saves to be uploaded to the cloud.”

Leadbetter goes on to add: “Moving over to PS5, the cloud data would then be downloaded and progress could continue. Final Fantasy 7 Remake and Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered are two good examples of this workaround in action. However, more recent titles including Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and now Ghost of Tsushima have allowed for native import of PS4 games.”

Analysis: Save transfer woes should hopefully be a thing of the past 

A katana stuck in the ground amid a stormy backdrop in Ghost of Tsushima

(Image credit: Sucker Punch Productions)

The way PlayStation 5 handles save transfers when upgrading a PS4 game to PS5 has felt like a needlessly complicated process, and one that often involves multiple steps. It’s also resulted in some players being unable to carry on their progress if they’d previously sold a copy of a PS4 game and didn’t upload their save progress to the cloud.

In comparison to Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, which use Xbox Smart Delivery to seamlessly upgrade last-gen games to the current-gen versions, Sony’s execution of transferring saves and upgrading games in general hasn’t been as smooth. The fact that every save is automatically uploaded into the cloud on Xbox means that players’ data is always available, and instantly synced when required.

That’s not the case on PlayStation, as not only does PS Plus offer a meager 100GB of storage for PlayStation Plus users (it’s unlimited on Xbox), but those who don’t subscribe to Sony’s subscription service do not have access to cloud storage whatsoever. 

It still isn’t perfect then, but the ability for the PS5 to recognize PS4 save files on the console itself, rather than rely on the cloud, should make next-gen upgrades less of a hassle in the future.

Adam Vjestica

Adam was formerly TRG's Hardware Editor. A law graduate with an exceptional track record in content creation and online engagement, Adam has penned scintillating copy for various technology sites and also established his very own award-nominated video games website. He’s previously worked at Nintendo of Europe as a Content Marketing Editor and once played Halo 5: Guardians for over 51 hours for charity. He is now an editor at The Shortcut.