Some PS5 users are struggling to download and access the next-generation versions of their library with the system. Whilst several cross-generational titles have free upgrades, players are reporting that their console still defaults to the PS4 version, and in some cases they cannot download the PS5 version at all.
As is tradition with any new console generation, several launch games are playable across both old and new systems. Over the lead-up to launch, Microsoft has repeatedly touted its Smart Delivery feature allowing players to immediately access the correct version of a game suited to the system they are playing on. Whilst this is more crucial in Microsoft’s case given its extensive backwards compatibility support, it appears that Sony is struggling to support even newer titles playable on both generations.
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In the case of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War for instance, users have reported issues with both playing, and even installing the PS5 version. In the case of the cross-gen version, it appears that the system installs both PS4 and PS5 files. Unless players manually change the version on the home page, as advised by Activision Support, Call of Duty defaults to the PS4 version upon pressing the Play button.
This confusion is only exacerbated when combined with the existing PS5 download bug that is currently affecting certain users. When this error occurs, the PS5 fails to download a game whilst also erasing it from your library, forcing a factory reset – and even this isn’t a fool proof solution. Therefore, the PS5 can inadvertently block downloading the correct version of a game, as demonstrated by TheGamer's Kirk McKeand.
Another issue is the lack of storage space available in the PS5 - 667.2GB to be exact after OS installation. With AAA titles like Call of Duty easily taking up over 100GB of space regardless of system, the consequence of having two versions of the same game sneakily installed is a significant one.
Reporters at GameSpot noticed that even after recently playing PS5 versions of titles, their PS4 counterparts would still appear on the home screen, resulting in accidental downloads. As far as Xbox’s Smart Delivery functionality goes, similar issues have not been reported after launch.
After controversies regarding save transfers on PS5, this is yet another blow to its cross-generational support. Hopefully a future firmware update will implement a more seamless solution and restore the parity between consoles in this department.