PS5 is set to come with a lot of great technology, according to the presentation given by lead system architect Mark Cerny last month. A huge solid-state drive, next-generation ray-tracing, spacial 3D audio and support for up to 8K gaming are all on the cards. But we've yet to see any kind of official reveal of the console, leading to bags of speculation and leaks.
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Consequently, we're champing at the big for any new PS5 info we can get, and we've just found a doozy. According to a first-quarter earnings call report from EA, the PS5 is about to nab one of the features first touted by the Xbox Series X.
Our sibling site GamesRadar (opens in new tab) reports EA CFO Blake Jorgensen commented on the process of phasing the company into the era of next-generation consoles. He reportedly stated the following:
"...this year the phasing includes the effect of revenue recognition from the games we are launching for the current generation of consoles that can also be upgraded free for the next generation."
This sounds an awful lot like Jorgensen is referencing Microsoft's "smart delivery", which states that when purchasing certain Xbox One titles like Halo: Infinite and Cyberpunk 2077, you can upgrade the game to its next-generation equivalent for free. No more buying multiple copies of games just to play them on your current hardware (yes, we're looking at you, Skyrim): the age of smart delivery is here.
Jorgensen mentions this while referring to "consoles" plural. This could be alluding to an internal EA programme offering smart delivery for all its games regardless of console, or it could be referring to a similar, as-yet-unannounced Sony initiative.
At the moment, Microsoft is dominating the next-generation conversation. The recent livestream reveal of Xbox Series X games showed off Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, Battlefield 6, Call Of Duty and a host of other third-party titles making their way to both Xbox One and Series X. Meanwhile, the silence from the Sony camp is deafening.
Microsoft's commitment to locking Xbox gamers in for multiple generations by making it cost-effective to stick with the brand is a smart one. Sony must respond in kind if it does not wish to be on the console war's losing side, and having its own smart delivery-style plan to help gamers upgrade would help make the decision to buy PS5 easier is a great way for the PS5 to fire a returning volley at Microsoft.
Smart delivery would also stagger the process of converting to next-generation consoles, which might be a blessing in disguise. The ongoing global health crisis is in danger of creating shorter supplies of both consoles: allowing gamers to stick with their current consoles and slowly phase into new technology will help with those short-term supply issues.
If PS5 adopts smart delivery too, it would certainly level the playing field. The battle for eighth-generation supremacy rages on: your move, Sony.