NHL 22 is launching on October 15 and for the first time it will be available across next-gen (PS5 and Xbox Series X|S) and current-gen (PS4 and Xbox One) consoles. While NHL 21 was playable on the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S, it was still just the original current-gen experience. NHL 22 is truly being built as a true next-gen experience with exclusive features available only on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S. With that in mind, there are obviously some questions about the upgrade process, should you purchase the game on an older console and eventually want to upgrade.
As we’ve previously pointed out, there are two versions of NHL 22 available for pre-order: the Standard Edition and X-Factor Edition. We actually have a detailed breakdown for what’s included with each.
The X-Factor Edition is the most expensive option at $99.99. But it comes with all sorts of bonuses and the ability to play it across the console generations. If you buy it for Xbox One, you can play it on Xbox Series X|S and vice versa. Same goes for PlayStation.
The Standard Edition is available for purchase on PS4 ($59.99) and PS5 ($69.99). Remember, you’re getting a few enhanced features with the next-gen version, which explains the $10 increase.
But here’s where things get a bit tricky when it comes to Dual Entitlement and free upgrades from PS4 to PS5 or Xbox One to Xbox Series X|S. The Standard Edition does not include Dual Entitlement on any platform, meaning you don’t get to upgrade for free. What remains unclear is if you’ll have to pay full price again for the PS5 version if you already own the PS4 version, or if you can pay the difference in price as a sort of upgrade fee.
Now if you own the PS4 version of NHL 22 and end up buying a PlayStation 5, I assume you’ll still be able to play the game but just not enjoy any of the next-gen features until you buy or upgrade to the PS5 version.
Additionally, because the next-gen and current-gen versions of the game offer different gameplay experiences, you can not play online with someone on a different generation or platform. So if you have a PS5 version and your buddy has a PS4 version, you won’t be able to play together. Same goes with PlayStation playing with Xbox.
As for cross-gen progression and content migration, the only mode where you’ll be able to carry over progression from current-gen consoles to next-gen consoles is HUT. No other mode supports a progression transfer. It’s also worth noting that it’s only onetime-only progression to bring your HUT team from current-gen to next-gen, available in December 21.
You can protect up to 20 player items and one Coach in your current lineup to transfer. The rest of your HUT Team progress and inventory will be calculated and evaluated with their worth returned as tradeable Packs in Ultimate Team on the new console.
Now it’s worth pointing out that also the whole dual entitlement and cross-gen progression transfer thing is a bit confusing, EA has developed NHL 22 to be a complete package on both console generations. While next-gen users will get some noticeable visual improvements, the overall experience in terms of gameplay and game modes will be similar on both generations.