You’ll have to hang onto your PS4 or Xbox One disc
EA is taking its own particular approach to free next-gen game upgrades, and FIFA 21, much like Madden NFL 21, is using the Dual Entitlement system. In short: if you buy the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One version of these games, you’ll be able to get the PS5 or Xbox Series X counterpart at no extra cost.
Strings are attached, of course. And the offer won’t stick around forever.
“If you purchase FIFA 21 for PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, you’ll be able to upgrade your copy once you have the corresponding next-generation console (PlayStation 4 to PlayStation 5, or Xbox One to Xbox Series X) at no extra cost by downloading it to your console up until the launch of FIFA 22.”
Another caveat to contend with: the PS5 and Xbox Series X upgrade process is smoother if you’re considering digital. The Dual Entitlement will more or less just work – you can “download and play FIFA 21 from the PlayStation Store or Microsoft Store at no extra cost once it releases later this year.”
“If you buy a physical copy of FIFA 21 [on PS4 or Xbox One], you’ll need the disc to be inserted into your PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X to be able to launch FIFA 21 on those consoles. If you intend to buy a disc-less console, you will need to purchase FIFA 21 digitally to take advantage of the Dual Entitlement offer as physical discs cannot currently be used to upgrade to disc-less consoles.”
What about cross-gen saves? “Any progress you make in FIFA 21 Ultimate Team and VOLTA FOOTBALL will transfer from PlayStation 4 to PlayStation 5 and back, or Xbox One to Xbox Series X and back. Progress within all other modes including Online Seasons, Co-Op Seasons, Career Mode, Pro Clubs, etc. will be specific to the console you are playing on and won’t transfer between consoles.”
I’m not going to take ’em up on this offer – I saw the obligatory next-gen player sweat at EA Play Live, and that’s the extent of my interest in FIFA 21 – but I do think it’s interesting to see how companies are handling the transition to a new console generation. I expect things to get messy and convoluted.