The Sims 4 PS4 PlayStation 4 1

The Sims 4 is free-to-play on PS4 right now. That’s right: the original game, in its entirety, is completely complimentary. You don’t need an active PS Plus subscription to play, and the game will be yours to keep forever. The only caveat is that the download doesn’t include any of the DLC, and there’s thousands of dollars of that these days.

It’s a good game, though, that’s perhaps only marred by a cumbersome interface and aggressive loading times. We’d have liked to see EA port it natively to the PS5, as we reckon the additional horsepower – paired with the console’s super-fast SSD, of course – could have really shaved away some of the bottlenecks. Alas, that’s unlikely to happen now.

And that’s because the publisher has started to tease the next entry in the franchise. It’s important to underline that this is eons away, and only exists as a codename: Project Rene. Still, what the company’s showing is potentially impressive: the name stands for “renewal, renaissance, and rebirth” – and in this era of Roblox and Minecraft, you can imagine it’ll represent a bit of a transformation.

The firm says it’ll stay true to the core ideals of the series, but that it’s “pushing to evolve how Sims think and behave, pushing tools even further when creating and customising, and exploring innovative ways to not only tell stories but to collaborate on those stories or creations with your closest friends across your favourite devices”.

Project Rene The Sims 5 PS5 PlayStation 5 1

The customisation, specifically, looks really deep. In a demonstration, EA showed how you’ll be able to not only pick the colour of items, but also styles, patterns, and even individual elements of furniture, like headboards. While you’ll still be able to play solo, the publisher hopes to improve collaboration, so it sounds like you’ll probably be able to share your creations, and even decorate in realtime.

One really neat idea is that you’ll potentially be able to see the changes your friends and family are making as they commit to them, and everything will work seamlessly across all devices, in a completely cross-platform environment. All of this is a long way off, of course – the publisher’s saying years – so don’t expect to be trying any of this in the near-future.

Still, you’ve got your free copy of The Sims 4 to enjoy in the meantime, and upcoming DLC updates will expand on that – beginning with a new infant-focused add-on. While there are currently babies in the game, they’re not especially interactive, but moving forward expect them to be a lot more autonomous within you’re already chaotic households. It sounds like a lot of fun!