Wreckfest PS5 upgrade announced, launches in June but it is not free

Wreckfest is being polished up for PlayStation 5 and wil be running in 4K at 60fps along with some enhanced visuals. It will launch on June 1st and you can pick up the full game both digitally and a physical product for $39.99 / €39.99 / £34.99, but if you have the PS4 version of the game then the upgrade will cost you $9.99 / €9.99. They haven’t stated the GBP price but it should be slightly lower than £9.99.

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I have just checked and although the Xbox version of Wreckfest is now £15 on Amazon, the PS4 version is completely sold out so you can’t buy that cheap and then pay for the upgrade.

Here is an overview of the added enhancements:

  • Dynamic dirt on vehicles
  • Improved shadows, particles, and environment lighting
  • Higher resolution textures
  • Increased amount of foliage
  • Godrays
  • New visual effects for skidmarks
  • DualSense haptic effects
  • Much faster loading times

The game is available as part of PlayStation Now and is also on Xbox Game Pass. 

Since launch, Wreckfest has received a number of free update as well as paid DLC expansions including a Season Pass loaded with vehicles and many, many customisation options. From racing lawnmowers to monster trucks, Wreckfest has a range of game modes and events that are generally aimed at having fun watching the advanced vehicle damage systems at play.

Thomas reviewed the game back in Augoust 2019 after Wreckfest made its long-awaited debut on consoles having spent a prolonged period in early access. Scoring the game a 9/10, here’s what he had to say:

What’s curious about Wreckfest is that it aims to mix the crash and burn gratification of the demolition derby type games with more serious racing games, creating an interesting hybrid of simulation and arcade racing in one petrol-infused experience.

When Wreckfest isn’t proving itself a capable racer, it’s also throwing you in a demolition derby filled with combine harvesters, or forcing you to wreck Reliant Robins while driving a school bus. The career mode throws some genuinely whacky scenarios in your direction and just lets you have unmitigated fun.

Wreckfest is a surprising triumph in blending the best that sim and arcade racers have to offer in an explosive and visually gratifying package. A few visual issues and overly aggressive AI do little to spoil one of the best driving games of 2019.

For those unfamiliar with Bugbear, this is the same Finnish studio that brought us Ride Racer: Unbounded, as well as FlatOut 2 and FlatOut: Ultimate Carnage.

Source: Press release

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News Editor, very inappropriate, probs fancies your dad.

12 Comments

  1. So probably £8.99 for the upgrade? I wonder if that gives you permanent access to the PS5 version if you apply it to the PS Now version? (It’s only on PS Now until May)

    Or it’s £14.97 on Amazon, plus the upgrade, which still makes it cheaper.

    • Twitter is, predictably, outraged at the idea that they could charge for an upgrade for the PS5 when the XBox version got an upgrade for free. Except that upgrade just unlock the 4k60 mode, and they’re doing a paid upgrade later.

      Someone at THQ Nordic is clearly having a bad day though, answering all those complaints on Twitter. Pointing out it was a lot of work for a reasonable price. I think he’s getting a bit sarcastic. A comment of “Lol pay for enhanced” got a reply of “lol pay devs for their work”. Someone might get into trouble for being slightly unprofessional there, but I think they deserve a promotion.

  2. I really don’t mind paying the upgrade. It’s a great deal. This is a thorough remaster, not just the previous version running at a higher frame rate.

    All Smart Delivery has done is ruin expectations and muddy the waters.

    • Outside of the paid aspect, Xbox gives third party developers much more freedom. As with Wreckfest, they can just make the game Series X|S aware in a patch, reserving a full upgrade for a Smart Delivery enhancement. On PS5 it’s all or nothing. It has to be a bespoke PS5 version, which is a bigger task to do and forces devs down a particular path, even if they’re able to draw upon higher-end assets and settings created for the PC version.

      • It’s not “quite all or nothing” or the PS5, is it? Plenty of PS4 games run at higher resolution or framerate than the PS4. In a lot of cases it’s down to a PS4 Pro update having improved things, which then improves even more on the PS5. The Pro updates could have been aiming for 4k60 but not hitting 60fps or lowering the resolution, while they can hit one or both of those targets on the PS5.

        It does seem like there’s some difference between how Sony and MS have handled it though. Maybe MS made it easier to unlock the extra power and it takes more work to do the same for the PS5. But you can definitely use the extra power of the PS5 to upgrade PS4 games.

        Wreckfest allegedly does not quite 4k on the PS4 Pro and PS5, aiming for 30fps. And getting a locked 30fps on the PS5, compared to 1080p and a 30fps target on the base PS4. I guess it could do 60fps with some work, and the XBone version can be upgraded to 60fps with less work. But still not really all or nothing.

        And that “smart delivery” thing still annoys me. It’s exactly how it works on the PS5, but with a silly name. Stick a PS4 disc in a PS5? It’ll download the PS5 version. Buy a game digitally? It’ll download the PS5 version. Except you also get the option to download the PS4 version as well. Which is essential if you want to play in VR, and nice if you want twice the trophies.

      • That’s still the PS5 running games at up to PS4 Pro targets. What is limited to 1440p30 on PS4 Pro is the same on PS5, with the only exceptions being first party games like Days Gone and Tsushima.

        On Xbox, games can be “Gen9Aware” have different resolution and frame rate targets set for Series X in a patch. It’s still an Xbox One game. Smart Delivery will then require that a Series X|S specific build has to be created.

        Smart Delivery might annoy you, but it simplifies the process. A game with Smart Delivery will only ever download the Series X version on Series X, there’s no confusion, no double downloads, save files are unified, achievement progression, no need to go and redeem a game upgrade. You can get the same end result on PS5, but there is no way that you can say that’s “exactly how it works”.

      • The only difference between “smart delivery” and how the PS5 does it is that save files aren’t automatically compatible (same as PS3/Vita/PS4 save files aren’t), and that you get the extra option to download the PS4 version. By default you get the PS5 version. (Except when there was a bit of confusion early on when people ended up with both)

        As for the resolution/frame rate difference between generations, it’s effectively the same situation with the PS5 if the PS4 version has the right sort of Pro update. If it’s a hard 1440p30, yes, the PS5 gets the same 1440p30. But if it’s targeting 4k30 with a dynamic resolution, the PS5 could end up doing 4k with a locked 30fps. There shouldn’t be anything preventing a PS4 game doing 4k60 on the PS5 and less on the PS4 or Pro.

        So is the only difference with the Series X an explicit “use all that extra power” thing? But with the PS4 it’s “give us as much power as you can, we’ll work out how we can use it”? The end result being developers can quickly upgrade XBone games, but it’s more work for the PS5. Less work if there’s already a Pro update, even less if the Pro update targeted a resolution it technically couldn’t manage but the PS5 can.

      • Sure, for a new cross-gen game purchase, it’s effectively the same. For upgrades from a PS4 disc purchase or a pre-PS5 game, there’s extra steps vs. Smart Delivery. I still hear of occasions where both versions are downloaded, and stupidness where need the PS4 version in order to upload a save.

        And yes, in theory developers could set new upper bounds for a PS4 Pro game to run at 4K30, but almost across the board they do not do that. Even if they did, it’d be 4K30 instead of 4K60, and without possibility of a 120fps mode.

        The tech is there for developers do issue PS5 aware updates on PS5, but it’s seemingly only for first parties, or a pain to do such that third parties aren’t doing it. That’s the reality of the situation here: Xbox has made this half step easy to implement and developers are doing it, PlayStation has not.

      • Haha, I think this debate shows how confusing it can be to consumers who aren’t in the know.

      • Specifically in Wreckfest terms.

        The Series X (not S) runs at 4K 60 after a patch. Lots of fans were lauding Smart Delivery.

        Then, a few weeks later, the PS5 version is announced which is also 4K 60.

        People jump to Twitter, staggered why the PS5 version isn’t free like Xbox.

        Then it’s explained that the Series X version is the One version running at 60fps, whereas the PS5 version is a full remaster.

        Then queue lots of unhappy Xbox users.

      • Yeah, I can see that, but fans were just lauding the wrong part of Microsoft’s cross-gen support! I think Wreckfest is the first game to do a patch for one and an upgrade for the other.

      • It’s confused more by the fact that Wreckfest already had an update for the Pro and 1X a whole 17 months ago to add 4K support (which may be a dynamic resolution or just not quite 4K), at 30fps.

        They might have been better off updating the PS4 version so it could do 4k60 on PS5 and then offer the paid upgrade for both platforms at the same time. But then there could be a whole load of reasons why that might have involved more work than just saying “do 60fps if you’re running on a PS5”, none of which are necessarily down to Sony. Could even just be the PS4 developer did something a different way to the XBone developer and it’s harder to adjust that to 60fps.

        Or it could be down to money. Why spend all that money updating and testing the update that won’t be of much use to a huge number of people yet when it runs fine at 4k30 and you can charge for the PS5 upgrade?

        Maybe they can’t afford to work on the PS5 and Series X upgrades at the same time? Otherwise they’d probably have released both at once and just had to deal with people having a whinge about having to pay a pretty reasonable price for it.

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