Horizon Forbidden West PS5 PlayStation 5 1

The aftermath is sometimes more interesting than the main event, and despite a strong PS5 Showcase Event, that’s definitely true of Sony’s presentation today. We learned that key PlayStation 5 “exclusives” – like Marvel’s Spider-Man Miles: Morales, Sackboy: A Big Adventure, and, shockingly, Horizon Forbidden West – will actually release on the PlayStation 4 as well.

Here’s how boss Jim Ryan packaged the information:

“We know that the PS4 community will transition to PS5 at different times, and we’re happy to announce PS4 versions of some of our exclusives,” he told the PlayStation Blog. “While these three games were designed to take advantage of PS5 and its unique next-gen features like the ultra-high-speed SSD and DualSense controller, PS4 owners will also be able to enjoy these experiences when they launch. The PS4 digital versions of launch games include a free upgrade on both PS5 consoles, while the PS4 disc versions of these games include a free upgrade on the PS5 with Ultra HD Blu-Ray disc drive.”

It’s a shocking change of tune from earlier in the year, when Sony reiterated on multiple occasions that it believes in generations. Here’s what Ryan said back then: “We have always said that we believe in generations. We believe that when you go to all the trouble of creating a next-gen console, that it should include features and benefits that the previous generation does not include. And that, in our view, people should make games that can make the most of those features.”

We’re honestly not sure what changed, but we can’t help but feel like PlayStation has been a bit devious. Microsoft was roundly criticised for its approach to cross-gen development, and Sony perhaps saw an opportunity to capitalise. But if it’s been following the same path all along, then we think the company deserves a degree of criticism. It makes you wonder which other upcoming PS5 exclusives will also launch on the organisation’s existing console, doesn’t it?