New details have emerged about the time-limited game trials that Sony previously announced would be part of its new PlayStation Plus Premium subscription tier. According to sources speaking to Game Developer these free trials will be required for any game with a wholesale cost of $34 (€33) or above, and must be at least two hours long. They won’t be required for previously released games, or PlayStation VR titles.
Game Developer’s initial report raised concerns that requiring developers to offer these time-limited trials could place a significant burden on smaller teams. However, Kotaku’s Ethan Gach reports that the PlayStation Store team will create the trials, suggesting developers shouldn’t have to put any extra work in.
Custom demos with original content could be allowed in some cases, rather than providing a time-limited slice of the original game according to Game Developer, but either way developers will have to make a trial available within three months of a title going on sale, and be available for at least a year. Developers will still be able to offer promotional material like free play weekends outside of the PlayStation Plus Premium tier.
It sounds like good news for anyone planning to sign up for Sony’s $18 a month PlayStation Plus Premium tier, which is currently penned for release in the US on June 13th, and in Europe on June 22nd. If accurate, these reports suggest time-limited trials will be widely available for premium-priced titles, and two hours is a decent chunk of time to work out if a game is worth buying outright.
But Kotaku has raised concerns that offering time-limited trials could potentially impact sales, with people getting their fill of a game from a limited demo rather than making a purchase. On the other hand, a trial might encourage a purchase from someone that was previously on the fence.