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Marvel’s Avengers is a next-gen launch title with free upgrade

Cross-play across PS4 and PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X

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Iron Man punching a robot in Marvel’s Avengers Image: Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix

When the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X launch this holiday season, Marvel’s Avengers will be one of the games immediately available to play, publisher Square Enix announced Monday.

Marvel’s Avengers is scheduled to debut Sept. 4 on Google Stadia, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One. People who buy the game on the current-gen consoles will be able to upgrade to the next-gen version — whether from PS4 to PS5 or Xbox One to Xbox Series X — at no additional cost. This upgrade will apply for both physical and digital copies, at least on PlayStation, said developer Crystal Dynamics in a PlayStation Blog post.

Square Enix also said that players will be able to transfer current-gen save files to next-gen consoles so they can maintain their progress. In addition, the game’s multiplayer component will support cross-generation play, but only within console families (PS4 and PS5, and Xbox One and Xbox Series X).

Gary Snethen, chief technology officer at Crystal Dynamics, provided some details in the PlayStation Blog post on the enhancements that the PS5 version will offer. Along with the expected increases in detail and texture resolution, and improvements to existing rendering techniques such as ambient occlusion and anisotropic filtering, the PS5 version will feature “a variety of new graphics features such as stochastic screen-space reflections with contact-aware sharpening,” said Snethen. And of course, the PS5’s high-speed SSD will allow for “nearly instant” loading, according to Snethen: “As Iron Man flies through content-rich levels, higher resolution textures and mesh will stream in instantly, maintaining the highest possible quality all the way to the horizon.”

PS5 players will have the choice of playing Marvel’s Avengers in an “enhanced graphics” mode, which aims to “achieve the highest image quality possible” — presumably with a frame rate of 30 frames per second — or a “high framerate mode,” which “targets 60 FPS with dynamic 4K resolution,” according to Snethen.

Square Enix said it will provide details on the PC, Stadia, and Xbox Series X features “at a later date.”

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