THQ Nordic has announced that the native PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S release of Wreckfest is available now, both as a full game release and as a paid upgrade from last-gen consoles.
The fully native current gen release brings with it support for higher resolutions at a dynamic 4K, enhanced visuals effects like dynamics dirt, improved lighting and textures, as well as support for 24-player online multiplayer. There are higher 60fps frame rates for PS5 and Series X as well, though not for Series S at this time.
Those who own the game on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One can upgrade to the current gen versions for $9.99/€9.99 – the upgrade is available on Xbox through an in-game option, as THQ’s way of getting around Microsoft’s free upgrade/Smart Delivery policies.
Still, the fact that it’s here on Xbox at this point is the big surprise. THQ say that this version of the game is ready earlier than expected, but that means that a disc release is still coming at a later date.
Yes! Since the Xbox version is releasing earlier than expected, it will take a bit longer to push the disc version – but it'll be available soon!
— THQ Nordic (@THQNordic) June 1, 2021
Let’s be honest here: Wreckfest’s next-gen upgrade programme has been messy and confusing. First there was the backward compatibility update that allowed the Xbox Series X to target 60fps while running the Xbox One version of the game – something seemingly not possible for third party developers at the time.
Then, back in March, THQ Nordic announced that there would be a full, native upgrade for PS5 game on PlayStation 5 launching 1st June (Hey! That’s today!). This would enhance the game’s visuals significantly, but would be a paid upgrade. The Xbox Series X|S native release would be coming later in the year, though.
Then there was the biggest surprise: Wreckfest’s PS5 version was actually coming to PlayStation Plus as part of the subscription’s bundle of included games in May. Was this bringing the paid upgrade forward as well? Nope, this would just be on PS Plus, and so it was.
Now there’s the latest twist with the native Xbox Series X|S version coming out with minimal preamble.
Despite all this tooing and froing, it’s a game that’s worth the upgrade. Looking back on its original release, we said in our 9/10 Wreckfest review:
“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.”