MLB The Show 21: PS4 to PS5 upgrade explained

Sony /

Despite Major League Baseball has already tossed its first pitch, MLB The Show 21 doesn’t actually release until later this month on April 20, 2021. This year’s game will be the first to launch on a console other than PlayStation as it’s also coming to Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One.

This will also be the first installment in Sony’s long-running series that will launch on PlayStation 5. While MLB The Show 20 can be played on PS5, a next-gen version of the game wasn’t released.

As with other games released on both PS4 and PS5 simultaneously, there’s always the question about upgrading. Let’s say you have a PS4 and you buy MLB The Show 21 for it, are you entitled to the PS5 version for free?

Unfortunately, no. As clearly laid out in the game’s FAQ, the “Current Gen” (PS4) Standard Edition of MLB The Show 21 does not offer an upgrade path to the “Next Gen” (PS5) version. This means if you buy the Standard Edition of the game on PS4, you’ll need to pay full price for the PS5 version if you upgrade consoles. Even the PS5 version doesn’t allow for a free PS4 version.

If you have a PS4 and want MLB The Show 21 and plan on getting a PS5 before next year’s game releases, your only path to upgrade this year’s game for free is to buy one of the Collector’s Editions. The Collector’s Editions include access to both current and next-gen versions of MLB The Show 21.

But again, it’s not really a free upgrade because the Collector’s Editions are all priced well above the standard cost of the game on its own. The Jackie Robinson Edition, for example, costs $84.99, while the Digital Deluxe Edition is priced at $99.99. Sure, you’re getting extra digital bonuses, but if all you care about are the games, then you’re not really saving much.

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Sony also notes:

"If you purchase a digital Collector’s Edition you will receive entitlements for both current and next gen systems.  If you purchase a physical Collector’s Edition, you will receive a current gen disk, with a next gen digital entitlement."

What’s unclear is if the physical Collector’s Edition will allow for a next-gen digital upgrade if you own a PlayStation 5 Digital Edition Console, or if a physical copy of the game will require a PS5 with a disc drive. Usually, upgrading physical versions of games requires you to insert the disc into the PS5, meaning those with a PlayStation 5 Digital Edition Console are typically either out of luck or have to jump through hoops to get their code. Maybe the physical PS4 version will just come with a code that you can input in the PlayStation Store to claim your digital PS5 verison.