On June 10, Final Fantasy VII Remake, a game about wearing all the hottest styles out of the 2012 Paris Fashion Week, will land on PlayStation 5. Good news: You’ll be able to transfer your save data over from the PlayStation 4 version. Bad news: The process is, and you’ll never believe this, kind of a mess.
Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade (that’s the very real mouthful of a name for the PS5 version) will offer all of the standard next-gen enhancements, including the ability to swap between graphical modes that prioritize either a higher framerate or a sharper resolution. The update itself is free for those who already own the game. Anyone who upgrades to Intergrade will also get the option to snag a bonus chapter starring Yuffie, a character from the 1997 original who was not present in Remake’s base game. That chapter isn’t free.
Last night, developer Square Enix pushed out an update for Final Fantasy VII Remake that allows for the data transference process. After you update your game, you should see an option in the starting menu to “upload your save data.” Though you have to upload your files piecemeal, you can upload as many as you like, which should be music to the ears of those who like to save scum. (Guilty as charged.) No one has access to Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade just yet, but it’s safe to assume the PS5 version has a similar option in the starting menu.
The issue with all this is, you have to keep Final Fantasy VII Remake, an 86 GB game, on your hard drive until you’ve completed the data transference process—which is to say, until you’ve also installed the Intergrade version too. It’s unclear how much space, exactly, Intergrade will occupy on your PS5’s internal storage.
This entire process mirrors a similar kerfuffle from earlier in the year, when players of Marvel’s Avengers tried to upgrade to the next-gen version. That more or less worked (or, uh, didn’t work) the same: To move your progress from the PS4 version to the PS5 version, you had to first boot up the PS4 game, navigate a series of in-game menus, boot up the PS5 version, and repeat the process in reverse.
It’s all rather cumbersome, isn’t it? Even if you’re a member of PS Plus, which allows PlayStation players to back up saves to the cloud, you still can’t circumvent the process. It appears the PlayStation 5 fundamentally does not support cross-gen save data transfers on a system level, whether that’s a choice or a limitation or what. (Sony did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)
Now, contrast the process with how things work on Xbox. In nearly every instance, when you want to carry save data from an Xbox One to an Xbox Series X or Series S, you merely have to update your game and...start playing. That’s it. Provided you’ve maintained an internet connection, all of your data—your save files, your stats, your preferences and achievements—carries over automatically, thanks to a next-gen feature called “Smart Delivery.”
In the past, I’ve derisively called Smart Delivery a “non-feature feature.” Twice. And, sure, even its most stalwart defenders have to admit that “Smart Delivery” sounds a whole lot like a term concocted in some late-Friday marketing meeting. But it’s proven to be a sleeper hit in terms of next-gen quality-of-life features. My colleague Ethan Gach put it best: Smart Delivery turned out to be a pretty big deal after all. Today, I eat my shoes.
Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade will be exclusive to PS5 for “at least” six months.