Doom Eternal’s next-gen upgrades are out today for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, bringing de rigueur enhancements to last year’s well-received first-person shooter. The upgrade is free, but it also more or less tells PlayStation players to go to hell. To wit: There’s no way to carry your campaign save data from the PS4 version to the PS5 one.
And, oh yeah, that PS5 version is currently busted for some players.
Following the Tuesday morning rollout of Doom Eternal’s next-gen upgrades, some players (myself included) found themselves locked out of the PS5 version. In my case, I downloaded the requisite upgrade file, but the PlayStation Store still listed Doom Eternal’s snazzy PS5 version at full price. On the PS5 dashboard, a little lock sign popped up next to the game’s launch icon. To play, I’d have to switch over to the PS4 version. Other players shared similar issues. Bethesda, Eternal’s publisher, acknowledged the issue in a tweet on Tuesday, and said it’s currently working with Sony on a fix.
Doom Eternal’s PS5 version will eventually get fixed, but it’ll still be lesser than other PS4-to-PS5 upgrades. The total lack of a save-data transfer poses a stark contrast to how cross-gen upgrades have functioned so far on the console. For instance, with the PS5 version of Marvel’s Avengers, you can copy your hard-grinded progress between generations. You simply have to download the PS4 version, hop into the main menu, upload your save data to the cloud, download the PS5 version, go into that main menu, and then re-download your save data. Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade, the currently PS5-exclusive version of Final Fantasy VII Remake, requires a similar set of steps. Yes, the process is often a pain, but at least you can do it.
And then there’s another contrast: Upgrading your games from Xbox One to Xbox Series X/S is generally pretty smooth. With Doom Eternal, that remains the case.
If you own Doom Eternal on Xbox One, your Xbox Series X or S will automatically upgrade it to the next-gen version. You’ll be able to pick up where you left off in the campaign, provided you’ve connected your console to the internet. This is all thanks to a background feature called “Smart Delivery.” (How it works: Basically, if a game exists across console generations and is part of Smart Delivery, you get the next-gen version without any effort or financial commitment on your part.)
Upgrading Doom Eternal on PS5 requires several steps:
- Open the PlayStation Store on your console.
- Search for “Doom Eternal Campaign - PS5 Upgrade.” (It should pop up as the first entry after you punch in “Doom Ete.”) Download that.
- Go to your game library.
- Find Doom Eternal, then click on the three-dot menu. Select “PS5 | Doom Eternal.” If you try to do this before downloading the “Doom Eternal Campaign - PS5 Upgrade” file, you won’t see the option.
(Note: There’s no reason to believe these steps will change after the fix for PS5 is rolled out, since this is how every next-gen upgrade has worked thus far, but we’ll update this post as needed.)
Doom Eternal will run at 4K resolution at 60 frames per second on PS5 and Xbox Series X. Those fine with 1800p resolution can activate modes that offer either ray-tracing or 120fps frame rates. (Ray-tracing isn’t available on Xbox Series S.) You’re fundamentally playing the same game on both machines. It’s just that one is a little bit of a pain.
As we pass the six-month mark of this console generation, it’s clear the story around their differences is less to do with performance and more to do with features. Doom Eternal’s next-gen upgrades are just the latest footnote. One system demands you to jump through hoops for a download and then prevents you from accessing your old save data earned over the course of a 25-hour campaign. The other does not. At that point, how much do teraflops and storage space and imperceptible performance benchmarks really matter?