Update: Polygon is reporting that a Sony representative told them that the company “will not charge consumers for patches.” However, it is unclear if this statement applies only to games published by Sony or all PS4 games.
Additionally, Jack Sipich, founder of developer Absinthe Games, states in a post on NeoGAF that developers “are not allowed to charge you for patches or [PS4 Pro] feature updates.
Original Story: Announced earlier this week, the PS4 Pro’s biggest selling point is its enhanced graphics and visual fidelity thanks to 4K and HDR support. Sony has confirmed that some previously released games will recieve patches to improve performance on the new hardware, but they may come at an additional cost.
In an exchange with Japanese website Game Impress Watch and Sony Interactive Entertainment executive Masayasu Ito, Ito was asked whether or not these 4K patches would cost money and his response indicated that some games could indeed have patches with a cost behind them:
Game Impress Watch: For the 4K HDR patch for existing titles, will it cost money? Or will it be free?
Ito: It will be different for each title. I believe it will depend on the thinking of each licensee.
Ito then went on to address first-party titles published by Sony.
Game Impress Watch: What about Sony Interactive Entertainment?
Ito:I think it will vary for each one of our titles.
Game Impress Watch:What you’re saying is that there will be titles that have a fee [for the patch] and [patches for the] titles that are free.
Ito: That is correct.
Game Watch Impress: From here on out, we can think that all the titles from SIE will completely support PS4 Pro?
Ito: Right. The first party titles we put out are going to certainly support both [4K and HDR].
Although this could just be a situation of Sony covering all of its bases — and it seems hard to believe that every game will release a patch with a price attached to it — the PS4 Pro could very well introduce yet another way for publishers to wring money out of gamers’ pockets. Welcome to 2016, where even the graphics are locked behind a paywall.