Christmas is coming, Santa Claus, the Three Wise Men, invisible friends … and it’s time to give things away. Well, if you want to give away digital games for PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5, you should know that, for some reason, Sony makes the procedure a bit complicated.
Is it possible to give away a digital copy of a PS4 or PS5 game?
There are things we will never understand from Sony. The option to purchase a gift set existed a few years ago, but is no longer available as of April 1, 2019. As of that date, Sony has disavowed other distributors from marketing download codes for full games. Sony only allows the marketing of DLCs, virtual money cards for video games, add-ons and season passes. Nintendo, by the way, copied the exact same strategy from him in early 2021.
However, this impediment quite collides with the concept of console that we have been sold with PlayStation 5. Sony’s next-gen is sold in two formats: with a disc player and exclusively digital. That means that if our friend or family member has the digital version , we cannot give them games for their console . Does this make any kind of sense?
Well, although Sony limits us the possibility of giving games directly, there are a few methods to do so.
This first technique is simple and although it cannot be considered purely a gift, it can help you. From PlayStation 4, the games you acquire digitally can be shared with your friends . The titles will be associated with your account, but you can allow access to a friend without problems and they can enjoy it as if it were their own.
But be careful, do this only with people you trust , as they will have access to your PlayStation account. Both you and your friend must have an activated PlayStation Plus subscription , otherwise it won’t work. The steps you must follow to share the games are as follows:
- Start your PlayStation account on your friend’s console .
- Go to Settings .
- Enter Account Administration .
- Select ” Activate as my Primary PS4 / PS5 ” and confirm the process. During this process, your personal console will be deactivated, but you can reactivate it as soon as you return home without problems.
Once this is done, you will have access to the entire game catalog of your account on your friend’s console, so the new purchases you make will also be downloadable for him.
As a negative point , we can only do this process with a single user. Another aspect to take into account is security, since your account is associated with the other person’s console. The most sensible thing if you are going to do this process is that you also activate the verification in two steps to add more security to your PlayStation account.
Method 2: Gift Cards
This is the method Sony wants you to use, the official way to do it. Although doing this you lose a bit of the magic that is supposed to give you a video game.
For this we will have to get a prepaid PSN card . They can be purchased in many large supermarkets, hypermarkets and electronics stores. Also on websites like Amazon or Fnac. You simply have to look at the price of the game on the PlayStation Store and buy a gift card that has a value equal to or greater than this. In Europe we have cards of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 50 and 100 euros. If what you want to give is the typical triple A game, which has an approximate value of 70 euros, it is best to buy a 50 card and another for 20 or 25 euros. If you buy the card online, they will only give you the digital code that is exchanged for the balance in the account.
Once you have the card, you can give it away directly (your friend will have to scratch the band to be able to read the code) or give the alphanumeric code to be able to access the exchange. Once you add the balance to your account, you can buy the game you want.
The result with this method is identical to what we would do if we could give away PlayStation games directly, but the process is not at all attractive and Sony is probably losing a very interesting market by preventing users from giving away video games from its platform.
There is one last way to gift games on PS4 and PS5, although we anticipate that it is a variant of the previous two methods, so do not expect much. Of course, this procedure has more class and you can give the video game in question instead of a card with the value to redeem it.
How to do it? Well, the essential requirement is to have access to your friend’s PlayStation account , that is, that you both share the catalog of your consoles (which we explained in the first method). The steps you must do are these:
- Change user on your console and enter your friend’s.
- Go to the PlayStation Store .
- Prepare your credit card or PlayStation Store gift card.
- Make the purchase a day before or a few hours before making the gift. Don’t get too early , or your friend will see the new title downloaded on their console and you will spoil the surprise.
What should Sony do
Definitely, this barrier when it comes to giving away video games does not make much sense when a console without a disc player has been launched on the market, and therefore, without the possibility that users who have said console receive a game as a gift. Giving video games to someone else is the modern equivalent of giving away a book. Sony is preventing it , when they have many tools in their hand so that users can give away games without losing them absolutely any right over the distribution of the titles.
Sony should retract and simply allow a title to be gifted to another user from the PlayStation Store itself. It seems incredible that it has not already occurred to them. It could be done without having to log into anyone’s account. A button to give and then a list of friends to make the gift. It would be an elegant solution that, although it would bring its associated problems (account thefts, for example, but which could be avoided with the 2FA system), it would bring this function back to users without depending on any third party.