Sony on Friday published an FAQ spelling out how PlayStation 5 owners may upgrade PS4 games for the new consoles, whether they own them on a disc or as a download. Importantly, there’s no way to upgrade a game owned on disc if the user buys the disc-less, digital edition of the PS5.
The FAQ includes instructions for upgrading PS4 games to a PS5 console that has a disc drive, and for upgrading PS4 digital games to either version of the PlayStation 5. Sony notes that these upgrades may be free, may cost money, and/or may be available for a limited time. (Spider-Man: Miles Morales on PS4, for example, has no cross-buy or upgrade option to PS5.)
PS5 Digital Edition owners will upgrade games simply by logging into their account, heading to the PlayStation Store and the product page for the game they already own, and reviewing its upgrade offer. After that, they either download or purchase the update file, and get to playing.
Disc owners with a standard edition PlayStation 5 will do the same thing, sort of. After logging in and inserting the disc, they go to the game’s hub page and access the upgrade. They have to play the upgraded game with the disc in the drive, same as they would on PlayStation 4.
It’s perhaps not as simple as the means of sharing games with a friend on PS4, but it gets the job done.
The FAQ covers games that have upgrades specifically to take advantage of the PS5’s new hardware. Another FAQ notes that “the overwhelming majority” of PlayStation 4 games are backward-compatible on the PS5 — they just don’t include the PS5’s new features or enhanced visuals. Right now the FAQ lists just 11 games as PS4-only, and says that any that can’t be played on PS5 will be marked “Playable on: PS4 only” in the PlayStation Store.