EA Comments On Free PS5 And Xbox Series X Game Upgrades

Some of EA's games will be available on PS5 and Xbox Series X with free upgrades, it seems.

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A new generation of consoles is coming this holiday with the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. One of the largest game publishers in the business has now spoken about delivering free upgrades of its games for the new machines to help consumers through the transition.

EA CFO Blake Jorgensen said during EA's earnings briefing that at least some of the company's titles will be available on PS5 and Xbox Series X through upgrades that won't cost extra. Jorgensen shared this information in remarks about the revenue that EA is expecting during the fiscal year.

"Note that this year the phasing includes the effect of revenue recognition from the games we are launching for the current generation of consoles that can also be upgraded for free for the next generation," he said (emphasis added). "We've made a preliminary estimate of that impact in the phasing. But it should be noted that this will not affect net bookings for the full year, nor cash flow, just the timing of recognition."

It's worth noting here that Jorgensen shared this detail in his official prepared remarks as opposed to in response to a question where he might have gotten his words mixed up. We've followed up with EA in an attempt to get more details on this free upgrade program.

All Xbox One games, and the "overwhelming majority" of PS4 titles, will be supported on Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 automatically due to the backwards compatible nature of the next-gen consoles. So it's possible Jorgensen is merely referring to how current-generation titles will play on next-generation machines without users having to pay twice.

Microsoft has announced a new program called "Smart Delivery" whereby people who buy the Xbox One version of a game can get the Xbox Series X edition at no extra cost. Cyberpunk 2077 and Assassin's Creed Valhalla are among the first titles confirmed to support this, but the full extent and details regarding the size and significance of the upgrades and other information remain unclear.

The PS5 and Xbox Series X are set to launch this holiday season. So far, Microsoft has been significantly more forthcoming regarding its plans, having already shown off the console's form factor and promising to deliver news each month this year leading up to the release of the console. This is all part of Microsoft's "bold" plan to launch a more unique marketing strategy to compete with its rival.

EA has confirmed it plans to launch 14 new games over its next fiscal year, and some of them will release on PS5 and Xbox Series X. The company just recently confirmed that it is bringing Madden NFL 21, FIFA 21, and NHL 21 to the next-generation consoles. A new Battlefield game from developer DICE is also coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X, but not until 2021.

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