How To Tell You’re Playing A Next-Gen Game


The PS5 has launched to numerous issues, even defaulting to the last-gen version of newly released games. Here is how to rectify the problem.

With the release of the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5 the next generation of consoles has officially become the current generation of consoles. But unfortunately for Sony, the PS5 is having some trouble contending with this truth. PS5 players are finding their new consoles defaulting to the PS4 version of new releases, putting them in a quagmire as they are unsure of how to play the current gen version.

All the launch titles on the PS5, with the exception of Godfall, Astro’s Playroom, and Demon’s Souls, are available on the PS4. With this dual compatibility comes dual ownership: PS5 players who buy their games digitally own two copies of the same game: one PS4 and one PS5. Ideally, this set up would be a bonus, giving players greater access to their games, but it is has emerged a detriment with numerous players accidentally playing the last gen version of their new titles. For instance, gamers who purchase the digital version of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War get an option called Download All. If they select this option, the PS5 will not only download both the PS5 and the PS4 version of the game, but also default to the PS4 version upon play.

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Related: Why PS5 Download Speeds Are Still So Slow

Telling whether or not one is playing the last gen version of the game is, thankfully, rather simple. On the PS5, games indicate their version via their titles. PS4 versions have the word PS4 next to their title while PS5 versions only display the title without any mention of the console. So, discerning the version of the game downloaded is easy, but switching to the upgraded version can be a challenge.

PlayStation 5 Game Version: How To Change From PS4 To PS5

Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War PS5 PS4 Comparison

When viewing a game’s home screen on the PS5, three dots appear next to the play tag. Clicking on these dots opens up various options, including selecting the desired game version. This is simple enough and normally works. If players have downloaded both versions of Black Ops Cold War, for example, then clicking on the dots and selecting the PS5 version will switch to the current gen version of the game. Then players can delete the PS4 version, ensuring the PS5 version is the only version of the game installed.

While switching versions of game is supposed to be easy, many players are running into problems. Some players have discovered that their PS5 will not download the PS5 version of the game if the PS4 version is installed with download progress perpetually stuck at 0%. Some players have been able to fix the problem through a factory reset of their console but not even this is a guarantee.

The PS5 has a lot going for it: a slick, if bulky, look, excellent exclusives, and an awesome new controller. But the console’s launch has been a mess. The PlayStation 5’s backwards comparability isn’t as expansive as initially advertised, controllers have trouble charging, and rest mode is invasive. Now, on top of these problems, gamers cannot even access the current generation version of new releases. Worse still, many players didn’t even realize they were playing a last gen version until they were already hours into the game. If the current generation is indistinguishable from the last generation, then what is the point?

Next: PS5 & Xbox Series X|S Could Have Waited Another Year (Or Two)

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Updated: November 17, 2020 — 3:12 pm

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