Yesterday I was deemed some sort of beacon of Xbox superiority thanks to a Twitter rant I went on against PS5, the next gen console I’ve devoted almost all of my time to since I picked up both it and a Series X at launch.
And yet I keep running into small, but increasingly maddening issues with the PS5, and yesterday was exhibit A in terms of something that Xbox has clearly done better that PlayStation this generation.
When Xbox announced Smart Delivery, the ability to seamlessly upgrade last gen games to new gen, I didn’t think much of it. It just seemed like something you’d take for granted like yeah, sure, auto-downloading a new version and importing your cloud saves can’t be that tough, can it?
Turns out it can, if you’re Sony.
In contrast to Microsoft’s “turn the game on and start playing” Smart Delivery concept, this has been the saga of moving from PS4 Avengers from PS5 Avengers.
1) I got my PS5, set it up, putting away my PS4 in the process. Turning on Avengers, my saves weren’t loaded. This is when I realized that Avengers (including other games like Sony’s own Spider-Man) still uses actual save files.
2) I found that PlayStation had not been auto-uploading saves to the cloud, so I needed to hook up my PS4 and do that. I tried to upload the saves, but the cloud system was broken. So I manually transferred them to a flash drive.
3) I imported the Avengers saves from the flash drive, which brought my hundreds of hours of gameplay to PS5. Later, I went back on PS4 and uploaded them to the cloud as well, just in case.
4) Skip ahead to the PS5 launch of Avengers, which is not an auto-download, but you have to dig into the store to find it, hidden in a menu, listed as a new version.
5) After a 75 GB download, I loaded it up to realize that again, my save files had not been carried over, only this time, I knew for a fact they were both in the cloud and literally on the console. But going through the storage menus, I saw no way to change them over to PS5 and overwrite the new save file that had been created.
6) I eventually found out you had to go back and load up the PS4 version of Avengers and launch a Save Migration tool. But first you had to download an 18 GB patch (with copying phase) for the PS4 version to even get that to show up. And I know many people (not me, mercifully) had already deleted their PS4 version of the game once they downloaded the PS5 version. Or they deleted it before that to make room for it.
7) Once all this was done, save migration….didn’t work. It was broken for the first few hours of release, eating into the time I’d carved out to play the next gen version with Hawkeye.
8) Finally, it worked, the PS5 version of the game has my PS4 save data. But I’m still scared to delete the PS4 version of the game because I mean, who knows, with all this nonsense.
And that’s what I keep running into with PS5, nonsense. The friend and party system is nonsense. The remapping of the functionality of the home button is nonsense. The fact that Sony had an entire generation to figure out a way to not have a “copying” phase, and they didn’t, is nonsense. Hell, I even think adaptive triggers (patched into Avengers now) are nonsense.
I have been playing everything on PS5 because I played everything on PS4, but there was much less nonsense with that console compared to this one. And what I’m realizing now is that I’m being drawn to the Xbox ecosystem which saw these problems from the outset and went out of its way to address them. I didn’t realize that something like Smart Delivery, which didn’t seem especially revolutionary at the time, would save me hours of annoyance because of how bad the alternative was, as expertly demonstrated by Sony.
It’s the little things that are just adding up for me, and my default brand loyalty is being tested. I have to stay on PS5 for my “big” game Destiny, at least until crossplay arrives, and of course for Sony’s first party offerings. But everything else? I think I’m done. Too much nonsense.
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