Those looking forward to the Horizon Forbidden West release date don’t have too much longer to wait for the Horizon Zero Dawn sequel, and Sony continues to fan the hype with the latest look at the different editions that are available. Those hoping to pick up a Forbidden West Collector’s or Forbidden West Regalla Edition, however, have noticed something missing from these pricey packages: a physical disc. Instead of tangible media, buyers will receive a steelbook display case that will sit empty, with a digital download for both the PS4 and PS5 versions of Horizon: Forbidden West. Though this isn’t the first instance of a collector’s edition of a game being released without a physical copy, fans have been quick to voice their discontent and question the decision.
What Is in the Horizon Forbidden West Collector’s and Regalla Editions?
In a recent PlayStation Blog post, Sony breaks down what players can expect to receive with each edition of Horizon Forbidden West. Collectors will likely be most interested in the Horizon Forbidden West Collector’s Edition or the Horizon Forbidden West Regalla Edition. The Collector’s Edition comes with digital download codes for the PS4 and PS5 versions, a steelbook display case, a Tremortusk and Aloy statue, as well as in-game rewards, a digital soundtrack, canvas map, and other perks. If you choose to buy the Regalla Edition, you’ll receive many of the above items plus a few other exclusive rewards, such as a Regalla Tremortusk statue in place of the original that’s available in the Collector’s Edition.
So all of this, and no game disc. Fans were quick to point out their displeasure with this decision, and it’s fair to understand that those looking to buy a collector’s edition of a game would want to, you know, have a disc they could collect.
There’s also a bit of a time disadvantage with those looking to play the game the moment it’s available at midnight in their time zone. If you preorder and download Horizon Forbidden West digitally, it’ll be available the moment the game goes live. But where these digital vouchers are being dispersed in the respective collector’s edition boxes, you won’t be able to actually redeem the codes and install the game until it’s in your hands. It’s possible some retail centers may offer midnight releases, but you still need to factor in travel time, installation time, and downloading any day-one patches. It’s safe to assume those willing to shell out the money for a collection like this would want to be among the first to play Horizon Forbidden West, and though Forbidden West release date pickup will be available, it is alienating those looking to pull an all-nighter to get Aloy as far into the campaign as they can. For this reason, I wouldn’t be surprised if this most eager fans would skip out on the Collector’s and Regalla editions all together.
Why Doesn’t the Horizon Forbidden West Collector’s Edition Come With a Disc?
The answer to this question likely lies within the convoluted world of cross-gen titles. Fact: Those who purchase Horizon Forbidden West on PS4 will be able to upgrade to the PS5 version for free (though future cross-gen titles, such as the upcoming God of War sequel, will require a $10 upgrade fee to unlock the PS5 version). This is true regardless of if you buy Forbidden West physically or secure a download code. For the Digital Deluxe, Collector’s, and Regalla editions, players will receive a digital code for both the PS4 and PS5 versions, and each person can download whichever version is relevant for their console.
To offer this PS4/PS5 combo with a physical disc, Sony would need to ship two separate physical copies of the game in a single box, driving up production costs. This situation becomes more complicated given the number of PlayStation 5 digital-only consoles that have been sold. By offering download codes, Guerrilla and Sony are able to ensure that anyone who wants to buy a premium edition of the game and also play that game will be able to. As consoles shift to a more digital future through this decade and beyond, it’s a trend that we are inevitably going to be seeing more and more of.
Which Horizon Forbidden West Version Should I Buy?
At the end of the day, I’m not the one who should tell you which version to buy, all I can say is that you should feel satisfied with your purchase because it’s your hard-earned money. The Horizon Forbidden West Collector’s and Regalla editions come with some really cool perks that are locked behind a premium price. Owning these collections doesn’t make anyone more or less of a fan than someone who only wants (or who can only afford) to buy the base game. At the end of the day, it’s the way the story and characters resonate with you that matters, and not how much stuff is on your shelf.
If you love the game and want a physical copy, you can rest assured your game retailer of choice will have it available on launch day. Prefer to preorder the Horizon Forbidden West Digital Deluxe Edition and play it the moment it’s available? That’s likely the route I’ll be taking. Still sold on the Collector’s and Regalla editions but wish they came with a physical disc? Honestly, my recommendation is buy the collector’s edition you want now, enjoy the digital copy, and pick up a severely discounted disc two or three years from now. I can’t predict the future of PS5 game values, but given many first-party PS4 titles eventually went on sale for $10 new, I expect similar price drops as we move further into the PS5 lifecycle.
The Horizon: Forbidden West release date is Feb. 18, 2022. Will you be securing a Forbidden West preorder ahead of time, or waiting for the price to drop a bit before committing? Let us know in the comments!