Don’t Buy the Wrong Version of 'God of War: Ragnarök'

Image:  Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC
Image: Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC

In the wake of surge of accolades and overwhelmingly positive reviews, God of War Ragnarök is officially here. If you were a fan of 2018's God of War, you’re likely ready to sit back, controller in hand, and continue the story of Kratos and Atreus. However, before you do, you should consider which version of the game you should buy, because there are quite a few to choose from.

If you’re like me, your main PlayStation is still a good ol’ PS4 (mine’s the base model, no less). Whether you’re having trouble securing a PS5 or you don’t want to drop hundreds of dollars on Sony’s latest console, we’re in the PS4 boat together. Which is fine! There are so many new PlayStation games that support the PS4. It’s a great time to be a last-gen gamer.

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The issue is, many of us PS4 gamers probably plan to pick up a PS5 at some point. Sure, maybe not in time for Ragnarök, but I know eventually I’ll want to be able to play the PS5's exclusives, not to mention earlier classics in much higher quality (Ragnarök makes your PS4 scream). If you play the PS4 version of God of War on a future PS5, it’ll play great, but it won’t take advantage of the console’s power the same way PS5 version does. So, does that mean you need to buy the PS4/PS5 version now?

How Sony prices PS4 and PS5 games

Sony charges the standard $59.99 for new PS4 titles, but $69.99 for new PS5 games. Part of that inflated price comes from the upgraded performance you get from the PS5 version of the game: God of War Ragnarök, for example, has six different graphics options depending on your preference, including unlocked 60 fps, or full 2160p 4K, while the PS4 Pro offers two options, and the standard PS4 game only plays at 1080p at 30 fps.

Sony currently sells three versions of God of War Ragnarök: the PS4 version ($59.99), the PS4/PS5 version ($69.99), and a Digital Deluxe Edition ($79.99), which comes with goodies like Darkdale Armor, Darkdale Attire , Darkdale Axe Grip, Darkdale Blades Handles, Dark Horse digital art book, the official digital soundtrack, and a PSN avatar set.

You aren’t stuck with the PS4 version if you pick up a PS5 in the future

Unless you want the loot that comes with the Digital Deluxe Edition of God of War, those of us with a PS4 should buy the PS4 version without worry. The immediately benefit is saving $10 (or $20) on features you won’t be able to take advantage of on PS4 anyway. However, you aren’t doomed to play the PS4 version on your future PS5 if you pick one up.

Sony actually has a system for upgrading compatible PS4 games to PS5. It doesn’t matter whether you bought God of War Ragnarök digitally or as a disc: If you head to the game’s store page on a PS5, you’ll see the option to upgrade the game for your new console. It isn’t free—you need to make up the difference in price, so you’ll owe $10 for the upgrade. However, it’s a comfort knowing you don’t need to buy the PS5 version now if you only have a PS4 to play on.

On the flip side, PS5 players could consider buying the PS4 version for their system to save $10; you’ll still have the option to upgrade should you feel the need to take advantage of the PS5's power. Sure, most PS5 players will likely want to spend the $10 right away to reap the benefits. But $10 is $10, so it’s up to you to decide.


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