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How to upgrade your PS4 games to fancier PS5 versions for free

The Final Fantasy 7 Remake upgrade is coming in June.

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Yuffie is coming to Final Fantasy 7 Remake, but only on PS5.

Square Enix

You can play most PlayStation 4 games on the PlayStation 5 thanks to the new Sony console's backward compatibility feature. But some publishers are letting you upgrade PS4 games to the PS5 versions for free. This lets you play many of them with 4K dynamic resolution at 60 frames per second and delivers shorter loading times, making for a better gaming experience.

One major game getting an update is last year's Final Fantasy 7 Remake. It's coming June 10 along with an expansion -- Episode INTERmission -- featuring awesome ninja Yuffie Kisaragi. The next-gen update is free for current owners, but not if they got the game via PlayStation Plus in March. The Yuffie content will also cost extra (the price hasn't been revealed) and is available only on PS5.

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The PS5 is available now but has been going in and out of stock at retailers. The digital-only model costs $400, and the one with a disc drive is $500.

Your game upgrades won't happen automatically or through a typical game update, so it's easy to accidentally keep playing the PS4 version of a game on your new PS5. You have to go to the game page on the PlayStation Network and choose to upgrade to the PS5 version. That'll download the extra data needed for the next-gen features.

Read more: PS5 restocks: When to expect the console to appear

You can also upgrade to PS5 versions if you have a physical PS4 game, as long as you bought the PS5 with a disc drive. You'll always need to use the PS4 disc to play the PS5 version; upgrading doesn't get you a free digital copy of the game. You'll still download the PS5 update from the PSN, but you won't need a PS5-specific disc -- your PS4 one will become an authenticator.

If you opted for the digital-only PS5 and have a disc, you're out of luck. There are a few more limitations and caveats:

  • Some PS5 versions of current PS4 games aren't out yet.
  • Next-gen versions will be bigger files, so they'll take up more precious memory on the console's SSD.
  • You'll end up with a fresh list of trophies (each version's list is separate).
  • A few games' saves won't transfer. 
  • Some game upgrades are available only in cross-gen bundles or special editions.
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Spider-Man: Miles Morales is one of the games you can upgrade.

PS5 Performance Mode; screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET

Free upgrades you can get right now

Some upgrades will require you to buy a specific (more expensive) version of the game:

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Cyberpunk 2077's next-gen upgrade will undoubtedly be breathtaking.

CD Projekt Red

Upcoming free upgrades

This list will be updated as more upgrades become available or are announced.

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