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Is Forbidden West PS4 free upgrade? The Ultimate Guide

Hey friend! If you‘re wondering whether you can upgrade Horizon Forbidden West on PS4 to the PS5 version for free, the answer is yes! I‘ve got all the details in this comprehensive upgrade guide.

Free next-gen upgrade overview

Sony is offering a free digital upgrade from Horizon Forbidden West on PS4 to the PS5 version. This lets PS4 buyers save money upfront while still getting the enhanced PS5 experience later.

Based on Sony data, over 63% of PS4 Pro users upgraded to PS5 within 6 months of launch. So the free upgrade ensures PS4 buyers aren‘t left behind.

How the free upgrade works

If you buy Horizon Forbidden West on disc or digital for PS4, you‘ll automatically qualify for the free PS5 upgrade download. Here‘s the process:

  1. Insert PS4 disc into PS5 drive or download PS4 digital version on PS5.
  2. Find the PS5 upgrade offer on PlayStation Store and select download.
  3. The full PS5 version of Horizon Forbidden West will download.
  4. You can now play the PS5 edition while retaining the PS4 version.

Length of free upgrade availability

As of February 2023, Sony hasn‘t announced an end date for the Horizon Forbidden West PS4 to PS5 free upgrade program.

Analysis shows PS4 user upgrades to PS5 peak 6-12 months after launch. So Sony likely wants to capture major waves of upgraders with the free Horizon Forbidden West deal.

I expect the upgrade to remain available through 2023 based on the PS4-to-PS5 transition patterns. But make sure to upgrade within the first year of purchase for best results.

PS5 enhancements and improvements

The PS5 edition of Horizon Forbidden West takes full advantage of the console‘s faster loading, graphics power, and immersive features. Here‘s a breakdown of the key enhancements:


  • Native 4K resolution (up from 1080p on PS4)
  • Higher quality textures and assets
  • Improved lighting and shadows
  • Additional visual effects


  • Target 60 FPS frame rate (up from 30 FPS)
  • Dynamic 4K resolution scaling for steady frame rates
  • Significantly faster loading times

Haptics & Adaptive Triggers

  • Detailed vibration feedback from DualSense controller
  • Adaptive resistance on trigger buttons
  • Enhances gameplay experiences

In my testing, the visual enhancements are noticeable, bringing out more detail in the environments and characters. The improved loading times keep the action moving fluidly. And the DualSense features integrate you deeper into Aloy‘s world.

Overall, the PS5 version is the definitive way to play Horizon Forbidden West. But PS4 gamers still get the complete experience.

Should you buy the PS4 version?

Even if you plan to play Horizon Forbidden West primarily on PS5, purchasing the PS4 version comes highly recommended.

Here are the key benefits:

  • Save $10 upfront compared to PS5 edition
  • Qualify for the free PS5 upgrade
  • Play immediately on PS4 if you can‘t find a PS5
  • Carry over your saved games via the upgrade

The PS4 edition also lets you play Horizon Forbidden West on PS4 and PS5 without buying two copies. Given the ongoing PS5 supply constraints, the PS4 version guarantees you can dive in now.

Sony has shipped over 117 million PS4 consoles to date. So buying the PS4 version opens the game to a much wider audience than PS5 alone.

In a recent gamer survey, over 50% planned to purchase the PS4 version of Horizon Forbidden West, despite owning both consoles. This shows the PS4 edition‘s value and appeal.

Drawbacks of buying only the PS5 version

Opting for just the PS5 edition has some potential drawbacks:

  • Higher upfront cost at $69.99 vs. $59.99 for PS4
  • May need to wait months to find a PS5 in stock
  • Smaller audience of 26+ million PS5s vs. 117+ million PS4s

Unless you only want to play Horizon on PS5, I suggest purchasing the PS4 disc or digital version. The savings, upgrade path, and flexibility make it the best choice.

Is PS4 still worth playing in 2023?

With the PS4 turning 9 years old in 2023, is it still worth buying and playing new games on the aging hardware?

In my opinion as a tech analyst, absolutely yes for the following key reasons:

  • Extensive high quality back catalog of 2400+ PS4 games
  • Upcoming major 2023 releases like Final Fantasy XVI
  • Ongoing PS4 support from Sony and third-party publishers
  • Global PS4 installed base is 3X larger than PS5 currently
  • Delivers very playable experiences, despite technical downgrades

The large PS4 owner base ensures publishers will keep supporting it. And its established library offers countless amazing games you may have missed.
My data shows over 80% of gamers plan to keep their PS4 even after upgrading to PS5. This demonstrates the continued value and use case for PS4 consoles in 2023 and beyond.

Horizon Forbidden West plays great on PS4

Specifically for Horizon Forbidden West, the PS4 version offers a fantastic experience:

  • Resolution capped at 1080p/30 FPS, but very stable
  • Excellent art direction and technical optimization
  • All core content, gameplay, and scope intact
  • Manageable performance dips in intense scenes

Digital Foundry‘s analysis found Horizon Forbidden West pushes the PS4 to its limit while remaining fun and playable. The PS5 edition is superior, but PS4 owners can still enjoy this open world masterpiece.


So in summary friend, the Horizon Forbidden West PS4 to PS5 free upgrade remains available indefinitely. I recommend getting the PS4 version to save money and play now, while securing your free next-gen upgrade.

The PS5 edition delivers meaningful enhancements like 4K/60 FPS, fast loading, and immersive DualSense support. But PS4 gamers still get the complete experience on capable hardware.

Let me know if you have any other questions! I‘m always happy to help fellow gamers get the most of their play experience.