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Madden 21 shows that cross-gen gaming on Xbox Series X and PS5 could be messy

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EA’s upcoming Madden NFL 21 is coming to the Xbox Sequence X, and house owners of the sport for the current-gen Xbox One will be capable to improve to the Sequence X model at no cost, the corporate introduced right this moment at Microsoft’s gameplay reveal showcase. However there’s a catch: as an alternative of utilizing Microsoft’s Smart Delivery program to supply the free improve, EA shall be working its own — far more limited — upgrade offer.

At its core, EA’s deal has the identical objective as Microsoft’s Good Supply program: to make it possible for gamers don’t have to purchase two copies of a recreation for the 2 separate consoles. However EA is including a bunch of additional restrictions for its supply. Gamers should buy Madden NFL 21 on Xbox One by December 31st, 2020 to be eligible to get a Sequence X improve, they usually’ll solely have till March 31st, 2021 to have the ability to improve their copy.

In distinction, Microsoft’s Good Supply program is much extra beneficiant: gamers should purchase both the Xbox One or Xbox Sequence X model of a cross-generation recreation and obtain the opposite console’s model at no cost, with no deadlines. So you’ll be able to obtain a replica of Cyberpunk 2077 in your Xbox Sequence X and it’ll additionally work on an Xbox One, in comparison with EA’s supply, which seems to solely permit a limited-time improve from the present technology to the following.

It’s complicated, partially as a result of EA has but to supply any concrete particulars on this system. Will EA’s different Xbox One and Xbox Sequence X video games launched this fall and in 2021 have improve applications? Comments from EA COO Blake Jorgensen throughout the firm’s earnings name referred to an impact on income “from the video games we’re launching for the present technology of consoles that may also be upgraded free for the following technology,” though it’s not clear what the scope of that shall be or whether or not it’ll simply be restricted to a couple choose titles.

Additionally unknown is how EA’s improve will really work? Will gamers must mail in a bodily copy or present a proof of buy? Will digitally downloaded copies of Madden 21 be included within the supply?

And naturally, there’s the query of whether or not EA will solely offer the improve program for Xbox clients or if PlayStation house owners could have the same supply for the PS4 and PS5 variations of Madden 21.

Complicating issues additional is the truth that Sony has but to announce whether or not it’ll offer a cross-generation improve program like Good Supply (or actually something in any respect about video games for the PlayStation 5). However even when there’s a PlayStation 5 equal, it appears possible that EA would use its personal improve system there for PS4 house owners trying to improve to the PS5 model, because it has for the Xbox One / Xbox Sequence X cycle.

All that is made extra maddening by the truth that Microsoft already has a wonderfully good and customer-friendly program to assist keep away from this difficulty completely. Based mostly on the constraints EA has introduced for its improve program, it’s laborious to interpret the corporate’s resolution to create its personal system as something apart from a much less beneficiant imitation of Microsoft’s Good Supply system. And at a time when so many different main builders — together with massive names like Ubisoft, CD Projekt Pink, and Microsoft’s personal first-party studios — are embracing the consumer-friendly strategy, that’s simply disappointing to see.

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