The revamped PlayStation Plus is going to launch around the world not long from now, but there’s still plenty about the service that Sony hasn’t yet spoken about. For instance, the catalog of games it will offer has yet to be detailed, though Sony has provided repeated assurances of quality on that front, while bits and pieces of both the PlayStation Plus Extra and PlayStation Plus Premium libraries are beginning to become clearer. Now, it seems details on another perk of the highest tier of the service have emerged.
PlayStation Plus Premium will also give subscribers access to timed game trials, and Sony is, of course, beginning to put the infrastructure for the same in place- though the way it’s going about it might prove controversial among many developers.
As per a report published by Game Developer, Sony has made timed game trials mandatory for any and all future games that will be available on the PlayStation Store and will have a wholesale price of $34 or higher. Trials will apparently have to be at least a couple of hours long, though this policy isn’t being applied retroactively, and won’t be applied to VR games.
This means any developer that releases a game for PS5 or PS4 that has a wholesale price of $34 or above will have to take out the time, budget, and resources to make a trial version for it that’s at least two hours long. Apparently, developers will have until three months after their game launches to release a trial, while the trial have to remain accessible to PlayStation Plus Premium subscribers for at least 12 months.
According to the report, custom demos for games will also be allowed in some cases, though these will be approved on a case-by-case basis- so if a game is under two hours long (or not too much longer than two hours), the developer would be able to make a separate demo for it. Of course, additional time, money, and work would still be required for that.
Demos, trials, free weekends, and more that are accessible by PlayStation Plus subscribers of different tiers can still also be released, according to the report, though that, of course, will be at the developer or publisher’s own discretion.
In all likeliness, the steps being taken by Sony here are unlikely to sit well with a lot of developers and publishers in the industry. The additional responsibilities being enforced on them for something they get little to no returns out of are a big enough reason for that as it is, but it’s also worth considering that those responsibilities might also be a burden that might be too much to take on for certain parties. While bigger companies should be able to cope with the requirements, smaller developers with limited resources and finances might not fare too well.