Everyone must have had this experience: You see a game you want to try, download it, realize it’s not what you want, and then delete it immediately in disappointment. It’s often difficult to know if a game is for you or not until you have tried it. And that’s exactly what Sony now wants to change with its new and updated PlayStation Plus service, and the company wants game developers to create time-limited trial versions of their games.
Not all games will be affected by this regulation. According to Sony, there will be games available through the PlayStation Plus service starting at $34. The goal is to allow consumers to test games more thoroughly and meaningfully before purchasing them. Sony therefore requires that the tests include at least two hours of gameplay.
However, Sony will not allow anyone to test games in this way. Only subscribers to PlayStation Plus Premium, the most expensive subscription, will be able to test games in this way. The trial versions must be available for at least three months after the game’s release and must be available for at least one year after the release (of the trial version, not the game).
The new regulations are good for consumers, but they can be a challenge for game developers, who already have a lot of work to do before and after a game is released. It’s also not entirely clear why the $34 price was set as a requirement for a trial version, as most launch games today cost far more. There is speculation that this could be to spare smaller game developers from the extra requirement, as larger studios have more resources to spend on things like this.
PlayStation Plus is expected to initially be available in certain Asian markets on May 23, before the service launches in Japan on June 1 and the U.S. on June 13.