It took mere hours for that goodwill Sega earned to go right out the window. Earlier this morning, we found out that Yakuza: Like a Dragon will offer free next-gen upgrades on PlayStation. Of course, it’s not just that easy.
Anyone who buys Yakuza: Like a Dragon on PS4 will get a free upgrade to the PS5 version when it launches on March 2, 2021. However, developer RGG Studio clarifies that saves aren’t compatible between the two versions:
To clarify, physical owners of Yakuza: Like a Dragon on PS4 can also use the original disc to upgrade to the PS5 version when it releases on March 2, 2021.
Save data will not be transferable between the PS4 and PS5 versions of the game.
— RGG Studio (@RGGStudio) September 28, 2020
Now consumers are left in a weird catch-22. They can buy it on PS4 immediately (right at launch of PS5 nonetheless), and play it knowing that upgrading to the next-gen version will mean starting the game all over four months later. Or they can just wait for Like a Dragon on PS5. Neither option is necessarily good within the context that a free upgrade is on the table.
More broadly, is this going to be the norm for cross-generation saves on PlayStation? And if so, why? There aren’t a ton of examples yet so it’s tough to definitively say, but it seems to be trending in that direction. Maneater‘s free upgrade on PS5 necessitates a separate application and saves don’t carry over. The Spider-Man remaster is also its own SKU that won’t support PS4 saves.
Eventually we’ll get the low-down on the architectural issue that prevents cross-saves in some instances. For now, it just seems like it’ll be on a case-by-case basis. For some games, it probably won’t be much of an issue. For Yakuza: Like a Dragon, only the diehards are going to play it twice in a four-month window; everyone else will have to make the call whether they want to play the last-gen version right away or wait a while for the PS5 version.