We were so close to cross-gen game upgrades being a simple and painless ordeal across the board, but now 505 Games has gone and announced that while Control is coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X, people who already own the current version of the game will need to buy it again on next-gen.
The publisher announced a new $40 “Ultimate” edition of the game today coming to PS4, Xbox One, PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X. It’ll include both the current Foundation DLC and upcoming Alan Wake expansion, but is otherwise functionally identical to the version of Control people already purchased (because it was very good) back in 2019. Only the Ultimate edition is coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X, and only people who buy that version of the game will be able to upgrade for free to the “next-gen optimized version” whenever it’s eventually available.
When asked for comment, developer Remedy Entertainment directed Kotaku to 505 Games, which did not immediately respond.
I’ve heard some people call Smart Delivery, Microsoft’s PR term for the fact that cross-gen upgrades for first-party games will be free and automatic, a marketing gimmick. After all, PS4 games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla also allow for players to upgrade to the next-gen version for free. And based on the number of third-party publishers like Ubisoft and EA that appeared to be following suit (minus some small caveats around games like Madden NFL 21), it might already have become the unspoken industry standard, making Smart Delivery a redundant bullet point.
Control Ultimate Edition shows that’s not the case. It’s not a huge loss. After all, if both Sony and Microsoft’s next-gen backwards compatibility plans fall into place, people will still be able to play their existing versions of the game on their new hardware (and in the process raising questions about what exactly a “next-gen” version of Control even means). Still, it felt nice for that brief bit when every game seemed to be working off the same, generous vision of free and seamless cross-gen upgrades.