One of the perks that’s perhaps going under the radar with PS Plus Premium, the top tier of Sony’s subscription service, are the Game Trials. Now these aren’t quite what was originally rumoured: the functionality doesn’t expand to the entire PS Store, and appears much more curated. But they are surprisingly generous – in the case of Horizon Forbidden West, the platform holder will allow you to play for five hours before asking you to cough up.
Now just to get the small-print out of the way first – because someone in the comments will inevitably bring it up – your game time only counts while you’re actually playing, so you get a full five hours of playtime. You can spread this over as many different sessions as you like, too – and your Trophies and save data will, of course, carry across to the full product should you decide to purchase it. So everything’s being handled as it should.
You can find a full list of available Game Trials in our All PS Plus Games guide. One thing worth noting is that most of the tasters only last for two hours, although Cyberpunk 2077 also gives you access to five hours like Horizon Forbidden West. This is a good thing in our opinion, because both of these games are RPGs that demand a little more time to sink their hooks into you.
Look, no one’s going to subscribe to PS Plus Premium purely for the Game Trials, but as an added perk for members – hey, if Sony keeps the selection fresh, then they're a welcome addition.
[source twitter.com, via psu.com]
Pardon my ignorance, is hfw on the service? Or does ps+ premium allow access to demos of ALL games $34+, on the ps store?
@PhhhCough HFW is available as one of the free game trials, you can download the game but to play after the 5 hour limit you'll have to pay the price available for it. There's currently 12 games listed that are time-limited trials according to the link provided in this article (gotta scroll down to find the section).
That’s actually a pretty brilliant idea if someone is on the fence before buying a game. Let’s see if enough people are interested in it though.
> because someone in the comments will inevitably bring it up – your game time only counts while you’re actually playing
I bet it also counts time when you're "not playing" too. /s like in menus and paused.
This game needs no trial, it is a no brainer. Must have.
I didn’t start enjoying this game until about 10 hours in to be honest. Generally speaking though 5 hours is pretty generous!
@frabbit exactly what i was going to say.. It felt exactly the same landscape wise until i was in to the forbidden west and that process, if i believe right was after 5 hours.
Fair enough, I'm at 75+ hours and around %75 completion... This game is freaking HUGE!
Unpopular opinion I'm sure, but 5 hours is longer than I spent on it. I was really disappointed with this sequel. With this in mind, I'm really looking forward to trials and demos becoming a thing again.
What if I only use 1 hour of the game trial can I still use the remaining 4 hours.on Sonys PlayStation Blog they did not say anything about it.
@Deadhunter Apparently the game's intro is a bit of a slog (read comments above). It gets way better later on.
Five hours is very generous, glad to hear they're doing it!
@Deadhunter defenately worth another shot mate. Game gets waaaaay better once you get in to the west. I didnt like my first 5 hours. Id reccomend rushing the intro and not doing side quests etc. Just get in to the west.
Does this include download time. Will take me about 3 hours to download.
It's a very slow starter this one and the trial may put a few people off it. The game is at its peak in the Vegas area, in my opinion.
I presume that trophies for these trials are unlocked normally, rather than being added only after you purchase the game?
@Deadhunter While I agree with others that the game DOES get better after the Daunt I think if you didn't enjoy it after less than 5 hours you probably won't enjoy the rest of it. We all like different things.
That said to call it a disappointing sequel before you've even left the starting tutorial area (The Daunt) is a little unfair too, it opens up and gets much more interesting after that.
Personally I felt it improved on H:ZD in most areas and it kept me engaged for 100+ hours and the Platinum.
@MisterXpoSay the article says "Your game time only counts while you’re actually playing, so you get a full five hours of playtime. You can spread this over as many different sessions as you like, too"
So yea, if you play for 1 hour, you can come back and play your other 4 hours at a later time, and you can even split the time over as many sessions as you like. 30 minutes here, 10 minutes there, all until 5 hours has elapsed.
Still find it stupid you have to pay to try a game trial (Does people even know what demos are anymore? Apparently not).
But with that said, a 5 hour trial seem pretty damn generous.
@rawzeku I'm sure many people here know what a demo is. It seems as though you might be the one who doesn't considering this isn't a demo - it's a trial. There is a difference.
@thefourfoldroot1 from PlayStation Blog:
"Trophies earned during your time-limited game trial through the PlayStation Plus Premium/Deluxe plan will remain on your PSN profile, even after you complete the trial and decide not to purchase the title. If you decide to purchase the title at a later time, you can continue to earn trophies where you left off."
@Ward_ting thanks it’s much more clear to me now.
Thought that would be the case (due to Sonys basic infrastructure more than anything else, lol). I’m not obsessive about trophies or keeping a 100% profile, but I do know this will stop some people playing on their main profile. Although they’ll likely just make a new profile just to try out trials.
@GusBH When asking for £70 everything should be considered. I personally know, just as gamepass has resulted in me buying less Xbox games, £70 price tags have certainly resulted in me buying less PlayStation 5 titles so far this gen. I’m still patiently waiting for decent sales on vast majority of Sonys first party output on PS5.
Gametrials are definitely needed and welcome
I wouldn’t class game trials as an additional perk for the higher tier subs…I think it’s going to end up the main selling point for most. And 5 hours is plenty of time to get a good idea of a game.
Game trials make perfect sense for Sony…just enough to get you hooked without really risking potential sales. It is a shame though that the game trials list will be limited rather than the report of every single games in store having a trial - I have no idea how that would have worked in practicality…but would have offered amazing value to the sub.
I wish we could get a clearer idea on the rules though, and what now is going to be on the service. Obviously we already know not every game is getting 5 hours…some are 2…some you would assume less than that. I wonder if it’s based on percentage of the game in question rather than set windows devs/publishers pick from.
Either way, game trials whilst not as good as full releases day 1 are still a decent selling point for those wanting to try these games but put off by the price tags.
What’s going to be interesting is seeing what effect, if any, they’ll have on day one sales
The concept is great, and a 5 hour demo is generous, but for a huge open world sandbox is probably the minimum to get a real feel of a game. But it still makes zero sense to pay for a premium service to get demos, let alone having to pay for the most premium service tier to get demos, let alone having a limited handful of available demos. The whole point of a demo is "try before you buy", and is something of a marketing activity. Paying to try it before you buy it misses the point. The fact that you pay money to be offered a handful of demos of thing to buy at full price is about as backward a thing as I could imagine. At a minimum it should be for all tiers, but even that sounds backward. A demo should be....a demo. For free. For everyone to try. To encourage everyone to buy. Even Nintendo gets that.... Surely Sony can do better than Nintendo, right? It shouldn't be hard...
Sure it's presented as a side-benefit of the service, but, then, they're offering demos (marketing trials) only to a relatively small pool of high tier subscribers, which isn't likely to be most of their customers considering the main perk of the tier is retro games, which Jim wasn't entirely wrong on with people not wanting to play them. The mainstream customer wouldn't.
It's definitely a weird concept and a missed opportunity. And is slightly insulting.
I do have to laugh at the people above that said sales will be lost (from a small part of the market subscribing to Premium.) We've gone from "Sony can do no wrong and all their games are the best games in the industry" to "if people can play a few hours of their games, they wouldn't actually buy the whole game"
@NEStalgia "A demo should be....a demo. For free. For everyone to try. To encourage everyone to buy. Even Nintendo gets that...."
You were saying...
@rjejr That's not Nintendo, it's Capcom, and it's not a demo, it's full access for a fixed calendar period. Free Play Days/Free Play Weekends, for subscribers have existed for PS and XB for ages, so that's not unusual. That's more like the subscription games themselves.
Sure, I get some people will have more playtime in a 5 hour demo than an unlimited week so there's little real difference in those cases. But there's still a difference between "all subscribers can play this game as much as they want on this day(s)" versus "only the most premium tier subscribers can play a demo of a fixed number of hours."
There's not 0 value, but I wouldn't pay money to get either. I don't think Nintendo is saying "Sign up to NSO because remember that one time Capcom let you play MHR for a week?" It doesn't appear on the marketing beyond "member-only offers." The demos thing does.
It's kind of like buying a Costco membership just to go in and get the free samples on a toothpick to get you to buy the Formaldehyde Fried Chikin Bites
@NEStalgia I agree w/ you about trials not being something anyone should pay extra for, but whenever somebody says "Nintendo would never do anything like that", well usually Nintendo, then Nintendo soon thereafter does something EXACTLY like that. See - mobile games, DLC, new hardware etc
@rjejr LOL, true, but in this case, Nintendo's demo (Kirby) is free for all, and Capcom's demo is for subscribers, but it's not a demo, it's a full week of unlimited play, so more of a rental than a demo.
So for the rental services, while Microsoft supplies 100+ games (many current) for their subscription, and Sony supplies 600+ (few current), Nintendo provides one Capcom-provided one, for a week, and a handful of drip-fed games from 25-38 years ago. The games on their subscription are older than the majority of the customer's paying for it
But at least their demos are freaking free
@NEStalgia Remember how when NO launched and it was garbage and everybody was like "Well but it's so much cheaper than PS+ and Xbox Gold" and then NO+ Family costs more than PS+ or Gold and all the Nintendo fanbois are like
@NEStalgia "it's a full week of unlimited play, so more of a rental than a demo"
5 week rental or 5 hour rental is still a rental if it's the entire game available from the beginning, only how long you have to play it is different.
Demo may not even be related to the game, progress doesn't usually carry over. There is a difference.
@rjejr You're not technically wrong about 5 week or 5 hour still being a rental, but perceptually there's still something different about a time-locked play time on a counter versus simply dropping the pay wall for a scheduled calendar time. The latter feels like a perk for free access to a paywall thing, the other feels like you're getting a snack on a leash. Plus, NSO doesn't advertise that as part of what you're paying for. Premium does....it just makes it awkward. If it were a handout for all plus subscribers, not part of the product features, it would be cool-ish. But a bullet-point feature of the highest level subscription is just weird. It's like a mattress store advertising that only their store credit card holders get to feel the mattress before buying.
LOL, I talk a lot about the "ponies" but I honestly can't fathom how anyone can defend NSO+ with a straight face, but somehow they manage to. When N64 and Sega Genesis is your main selling point, even 5 hour demos of a dozen PS games starts sounding like a thing worth paying for Those games are so old.
How old are they?
Those games are so old even the ROM sites that host them are considered retro platforms now. Those games are so old WE think they're old.....
I'm on a NSO+ family plan and only pay $10 a year and it's worth that max. The less we talk about that service the better. Lol!
This 5 hour trial is cool. People can get a good feel for any game in 5 hours.
@NEStalgia "Trials" in the "Premium" level have bothered me since the beginning. I may have commented about it when this all came out, but maybe not, but it seemed to me like the only selling point above "Extra", and demos aren't a selling point, they are supposed to be free. 🤑
Found it, comment #60
"Can't believe they went w/ that horrible naming plan. So every month PS now has to ask "What games do you want to see come to PS+ Essentials" and basically every other article has to include Essential. Why not just leave it PS+?
As someone who is confused every single month when games get added to #NintendoSwitchOnline Plus Expansion Pass (that's the actual way Nintendo tweets it out, the hashtag and then the rest after) this is unnecessary and will lead to lot's of questions.
Pricing seems same as it ever was. But the biggest downside is free trials are now in the most expensive tier Premium, seems really wrong to limit "free trials" to people paying the most money.🤑"
@rjejr Yeah, I mean it's only exhibit #3253 of bewildering and offensive things PS has been doing as of late, but free demos only for top paying subscribers is backwards from every angle. I think in a PS post I likened it to paying for a Costco membership only so you can go in and eat the free chicken nugget samples on a toothpick. Except it costs a lot more.
Although Premium has retro games, too. So it's more like paying for the Costco membership so you can eat the free chicken nugget samples, and also get access to the back room where they sell worn-out used bell-bottoms and fuzzy sweaters with huge shoulder pads.
@NEStalgia I have to admit, not a fan of paying for "free" things, whether it's memberships, Amazon Prime for "free shipping", car warranties, any of it. And "free demo" should be an oxymoron. 😝
@rjejr If "free demo" an oxymoron, then does that make "paid demo" a moron?
No, but it does make you a moron if you pay for a demo. 😉
@rjejr I knew morons were involved somewhere in the supply chain!
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