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"Deceptive" PlayStation 5 Freebie Blasted By Lawyer

"Deceptive" PlayStation 5 Freebie Blasted By Lawyer

"It’s like they want to be sued.”

A lawyer has called out Sony Interactive Entertainment for what he claims is "deceptive" marketing around the free PlayStation 5 upgrade for Horizon Forbidden West.

As reported by VGC, Hoeg Law attorney Richard Hoeg has taken issue with Sony's communication of the PS4 to PS5 upgrade path for the sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn, which is out this Friday (February 18).

This isn't the first time that Sony has been called out for its approach to new-gen upgrades, but critics have argued that the messaging around Horizon Forbidden West has been particularly convoluted.

In September last year, Sony angered fans when it announced that it would not be offering free PS5 upgrades to those who purchased Horizon Forbidden West on PS4. The backlash was such that Sony quickly relented, and told fans that their PS4 version would be eligible for a free upgrade after all. It would, however, be the last cross-gen exclusive to do so.

Except, as others have pointed out, Sony has continued to handle the marketing of this supposedly free upgrade in a... questionable fashion. Earlier this month, fans realised that searching for Horizon Forbidden West on the PS5 store would only throw up the £70 PS5 version of the game. But if you head to the PlayStation website, you can get the PS4 version and free PS5 upgrade for £60, saving yourself a tenner.

The US PlayStation website appears to push the more expensive PS5 version of the game over the PS4 version, which is tucked away a little further down the page.

“For folks not following what’s happening here, Sony is offering a PS4 version with a ‘free’ PS5 upgrade for $60 and a PS5 version with a PS4 copy included for $70,” Hoeg tweeted. “Same package. Two price points. With one displayed more prominently than the other.”

He continued: “It gets worse. The PS4 version does not appear to be offered through the store on a PS5 at all, regardless of whether or not you ask only for PS4 games.”

“Things like ‘deceptive’ or ‘unfair’ practices are always a bit in the eye of the beholder, so while I can say that I personally feel that this kind of thing crosses the line and appears deceptive on its face, I cannot guarantee that a regulator like the FTC or a judge would feel the same way,” Hoeg later told VGC.

“That said, as I mentioned in my video, you can definitely look at what has been presented and believe that material information (the ability to get a copy of Horizon for $60) is being deliberately withheld and/or obfuscated by Sony and the PS5 store presentation, and that if consumers knew they could play Horizon on PS5 for $60 many would make that election instead of paying $70.”

Featured Image Credit: Capcom/Sony

Topics: PlayStation, Sony, Horizon Forbidden West