PlayStation Plus Premium reportedly includes game-changing demo feature

A new report claims that the PlayStation Plus revamp will include an unannounced feature in the Premium tier: time-limited demos for nearly all big games.

According to Game Developer’s sources, Sony has begun mandating that all developers begin creating time-limited demos of at least two hours for their upcoming games, with only a few exceptions to this new rule. The biggest exemption is for budget games, as the mandate reportedly only applies to titles priced at $34 or higher. That means smaller digital games wouldn’t have to offer demos (though one assumes their developers might still choose to if the idea takes off). It also won’t apply to PlayStation VR games or games released before the new policy went into effect, according to the report.

The demos may not be available at launch, either. Game Developer says the policy specifically allows studios a three-month grace period after launch, so you may not be able to trial a game you’ve been eagerly anticipating right away.

Finally, according to the report, these demos need only be available to PlayStation Plus Premium subscribers for 12 months, meaning they may not last forever.

As a reminder, Premium will be the highest tier of the new PlayStation Plus, at $18 a month or $120 a year. In addition to a back catalog of around 400 PS5 and PS4 games, Premium also includes roughly 340 extra games from the PS3, PS2, PSP, and original PlayStation. This tier also enables cloud streaming—but not of PlayStation 5 games, which would indicate these new game trials would not be able to make use of streaming, at least at first.

If the report is accurate, this move would be an effective way for Sony to distinguish its new PS Plus offering from its biggest competitor, Xbox Game Pass. Game Pass doesn’t offer any equivalent trials for games outside of its current catalog.

What’s unclear, at this juncture, is whether developers would simply slap a timer into the existing game and allow players to download all the files, which could be a big detriment to the feature. It’s bad enough to deal with 100-plus GB downloads for full games. Having to use up all that bandwidth and hard drive space just for a demo would be an even bigger pain.

The new PlayStation Plus launches June 13th in North America and June 22nd in Europe.

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