When Sony took the lid off of its new and improved PlayStation Plus service, it revealed three price tiers: Essential, Extra, and Premium. PS Premium will uniquely offer “time-limited game trials,” so that players can try games before they buy them. However, specific details about the trials were not provided, such as which games will receive them. Now, Game Developer is reporting that Sony is requiring game developers to offer time-limited game trials for any future PlayStation game that retails for at least $34, €33 in Europe, or ￥4000 in Japan, and these trials must last for at least two hours.
Sony has reportedly conveyed this information to developers through its own developer portal, and there is some lenience in how the policy applies. For instance, these time-limited PlayStation game trials only need to be offered to PS Premium players for a minimum of 12 months, and developers have until three months after the launch of their games to provide the game trial version. Upcoming PSVR games are apparently not required to offer trials at all. Additionally, on a case-by-case basis, Sony will entertain the possibility of developers providing customized demos that do not adhere to the time-limited structure, which should help developers that are creating inherently short games.
The new policy will not conflict with developers’ ability to provide additional offers to players, such as other trials or free demos or free play weekends. If this information is accurate, PlayStation Plus Premium is going to offer an opportunity to try out basically every major new game on the platform before committing to a purchase. Catering to this mandate may create some new inconveniences for developers, but it will certainly be a benefit to players who want to sample games like Final Fantasy XVI or Marvel’s Wolverine.
The new PlayStation Plus is currently targeting June for its launch in most markets.