Next-Gen Game Upgrades Abound, but Buyer Beware

Ten-dollar upgrades might make you press reset on saved games.

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Even if you’re planning to pick up a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One in November, the game industry would very much like you to keep buying games right now.

As such, both Amazon and GameStop are offering $10 upgrades from Xbox 360 to Xbox One versions of select games. A similar PlayStation 3 to PlayStation 4 promotion is in the works, according to Polygon, but the details haven’t been announced.

For the Xbox One promotion, Amazon’s terms are a little friendlier than GameStop’s. While both retailers allow you to upgrade any time before December 31, GameStop requires you to be a member of its PowerUp Rewards program. GameStop also stipulates that you must purchase the Xbox 360 version of the game you want to trade within 30 days of its release date.

Both retailers are allowing trade-ins for FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, Battlefield 4, Watch Dogs, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Call of Duty: Ghosts. Amazon is also including NBA 2K14 and Need for Speed Rivals in its upgrade offer.

I appreciate that Amazon and GameStop are offering these upgrades, but I was still scratching my head over one not-so-minor detail: What happens if you invest hours into a game on the Xbox 360 or PS3? Is there any way to take that progress with you to the Xbox One or PS4?

Here’s what we know so far:

  • For Call of Duty: Ghosts, Activision says your “stats, in-game achievements, unlocks, and more” will transfer to next-gen systems, according to IGN. It’s unclear if this covers single-player progress as well, but at least multiplayer progress will carry over.
  • For Battlefield 4, EA says that all multiplayer progress will carry over from Xbox 360 to Xbox One, and from PS3 to PS4. Again, no word on single-player.
  • For Madden 25 and FIFA 14, players can transfer their progress in Ultimate Team mode back and forth between current- and next-gen consoles. They can also make a one-time transfer of FIFA Points to the newer consoles. In Madden, EA says that win/loss records and season progress will not carry over.
  • There’s been no word on save transfers for other games, such as Watch Dogs and Assassin’s Creed IV. I’m waiting to hear back from Microsoft on this.
  • For what it’s worth, Microsoft is offering a “Season Pass Guarantee” so any downloadable content bundles you purchase from Activision, EA or Ubisoft will transfer to the Xbox One. Activision has said the same offer will be available for PS4 buyers.

Obviously, these $10 upgrade offers make more sense when your progress in the game doesn’t go to waste. For multiplayer-driven games like Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty: Ghosts, the early access on current consoles could be worth the extra $10. But until we get clear answers on single-player for these games, I wouldn’t count on being able to upgrade without starting from scratch.