While Sony rolls out its new PlayStation Plus service, info has been coming out about how it will work. Game trials, which Sony had earlier announced would be offered, will be no less than two hours long.
Sony will require free trials for games that cost $34 or more, apart from the trial lasting at least two hours. However, previously released games or PlayStation VR games are exempted.
Meanwhile, there have been concerns about the impact of these mandatory requirements on smaller development teams. It could be more burdensome for them to code for it separately from the game. But there has been a clarification that the PlayStation store would automatically create the time-limited trials, which means the developers do not have to do any extra work.
However, game developers may be allowed to use custom demos showing original content in place of the time-limited trial, a request Sony would consider on a case-by-case basis. But that may not be a permanent arrangement because the developers are required to provide a trial within three months of publishing a game. The trial must be available for at least a year.
In addition, game developers can run promotions like free games on weekends, but this will happen outside the PlayStation Plus Premier plan.
The time trial should be welcome news for users that want to get premium-priced titles. Two hours is enough time to decide whether to get a game or not, based on gameplay.
Sony has shared that PlayStation Plus will roll out in the US on June 13th and a week after in Europe. The Premium plan costs $18 per month.
However, the time trial may affect sales as some players may be satisfied with the demo and not be incentivized to buy the game after all. But the real effect may not be known until the service rolls out properly.