Why is Genshin Impact on my PS4? Those mysterious downloads, debunked

Is it Hu Tao Halloween already?

What’s Paimon been up to now? A gaggle of gamers have recently reported that Genshin Impact has mysteriously appeared on their PlayStation 4 console, without any recollection of downloading it. Some have wondered if it could be a weeb curse or computer hack, but it’s probably be something a lot less sinister: an ad.

PlayStation 4 users have reported random “downloads” for the anime-inspired RPG as far back as six months ago. However, another wave of folks brought the issue back into the spotlight this week, after receiving an ad for the Genshin Impact 3.4 update.

“My partner just opened the PS4 and Genshin Impact was just fully downloaded, right there in the most recent games and neither of us have ever touched that profaned game before in our lives,” a concerned PlayStation owner tweeted.

Many of the reports don’t come with pictures, but the ones that do feature an icon of Hu Tao, one of Genshin Impact’s most beloved Pyro DPS characters. If you scroll over the icon, the full art for the game’s latest special event spreads out with the caption “New Version Update.”

One Reddit post from six months ago received an influx of replies from PlayStation 4 users experiencing the same problem in the past few days. In OP’s case, they were confused about the download because their brother accused them of doing it when they hadn’t touched the PlayStation 4 in months. Many of the commenters promptly suggested it could be an ad, though it’s difficult to verify without any pictures.

It’s likely this is an ad, based on others’ experiences online. This also lines up with reporting from last year about Sony incorporating ads for free-to-play games on the PlayStation 4. Perhaps the word “Start” in the ad next to the “New Version Update” caption caused more confusion than intended.

What the Genshin Impact icon should look like if you actually downloaded the game.

How can you tell if it’s really an ad? Well, I got it too. I had Genshin Impact downloaded on an old PlayStation 4, but hadn’t downloaded it onto my new one. If you press the Start button on the ad, it will lead you to the PlayStation Store to actually download the game.

The latest batch of Genshin Impact “downloads” feature Hu Tao on the thumbnail. That’s the promotional art for the Genshin Impact 3.4 Lantern Rite event. People who have never downloaded Genshin Impact probably won’t know the difference between that and the actual thumbnail, which should be a photo of Paimon’s face, as shown above. A past ad similarly featured the Genshin Impact 3.2 promotional art of the Traveler and Scaramouche’s boss form.

Now, this isn’t to say Genshin Impact can’t be on your PlayStation 4. Some commenters on the popular Reddit post insisted that it must be the person’s brother and that he was secretly hiding his identity as a closet weeb.

Crazier things have happened. Just double-check to make sure it isn’t an ad. If you’re feeling extra cautious, you can even turn off PlayStation ads in general.

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