PS Plus Premium focuses on demos. And it’s an ace up Sony’s sleeve.

May 12, 2022, 3:45 p.m.

PS Plus Premium shares some points with Game Pass, although Sony has an ace up its sleeve that sets it apart from its competitor. We are talking about planned demos or trial versions of games, that is, things desired by players, but giving rise to a pair of beers.

Next month, Sony is launching an updated version of its PS Plus subscriptions. Their recent announcement elicited fairly average emotions in general. Especially Game Pass fans pointed to the “blue” offer which is not very competitive with Microsoft’s service. Later, news came about the requirement that Sony allegedly imposed on developers who wanted to sell their games for more than $34. I’m talking about the mandatory addition of a two-hour trial version of such a titlewhich should be available in the most expensive Premium subscription option. It turns out, however, that this is not entirely true.

Our editorial team has contacted Sony’s Game Developer Guidelines regarding the aforementioned demos, which directly state that no further work is required. PS Store employees will prepare the demo, if the game’s producers do not wish to create it personally and release it to the public within three months of its premiere. So you can set aside accusations that Sony is pushing extra cost and effort into studies to make its more expensive subscription more attractive. On the other hand, demos of virtually any “big” cross-platform title can be a huge advantage in a Japanese manufacturer’s offering.

PS Plus Premium focuses on demos.  And it's Sony's ace up its sleeve - Illustration #1

PlayStation owners will soon be able to try any game over $34.

Demowy Paradise

This means that soon the owners of the Sony console, by paying the Premium subscription, in addition to a few games each month and access to many titles from the PlayStation catalog, both newer and older, will be able to check each AAA and AA Production before purchase. . For example Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, FIFA, Need for Speed or other games costing more than 150 – more or less – PLN ($34 or €33). Until now, something similar has only been provided by Steam on PC, but only in the option of a refund after purchasing the full version of the game. This may not be a offers as attractive as the “gamepass” option to pass the entire title from the day of its premiere, but it is certainly something that we will not find in Microsoft’s service and what Sony will distinguish in the market in restoring production of demos outside the library to a full-scale Game Pass.

It is a decision in the interest of the players. Publishers will probably start wanting a two-hour contact with the game, far more important than any review, to entice the purchase of a given item, not deter them. And despite Sony’s willingness to take on the obligation to prepare such a release, many game developers will prefer to do it themselves. Why? Sony will probably use an automated process for this, which after 2 hours will simply block access to the full version, which we have already encountered several times on various “free weekends” with games. The editor can, however, prepare a special version, presenting a given title from the best side or not revealing the plot too much.

What about small studios, which often make short games by definition? Most of them won’t meet Sony’s requirements just priced at $34. And those tempted to go up to, say, $40 for a short or mediocre production, will have to make a tough decision that will benefit the player. Because they will either be forced to provide a trial version or drop the price to the magic of $33.99. Considering Sony’s 30% commission, this might be a tough problem for some. Ultimately, the player will either pay less or be able to see if it’s really worth spending the money on a given title.

PS Plus Premium focuses on demos.  And it's Sony's ace up its sleeve - Illustration n°2

Some creators of shorter titles will have to get inventive to create a two-hour demo or adjust the price to Sony’s terms and conditions.

What’s the catch?

The legal obligation to make demo versions available on the PS Store is not only in the interest of gamers, but also gives publishers forums. Along with Sony’s ability to do any work related to preparing a two-hour demo, excluding VR games from this obligation was also mooted. AND the most important condition is a period of three months from the first to publish such a version, which can open the door to certain abuses. First of all, it’s enough time to keep practicing poorly maintained game builds and fix them after the premiere.

We don’t yet know what will be dealt with when a publisher announces a demo and doesn’t deliver on that promise. Presumably, Sony will just release the version it prepared with a gameplay blockade after two hours. Publishers uncertain of the success of their works will likely impatiently push back the publication date of the essay until the end of the regulatory period., instead of opening access on the day of release. We don’t have to worry about a sudden influx of positions with the VR option to get around the requirement to provide a demo, as the docs show that only games that require glasses are exempt.

Formerly Log Recordings, Now PS Store

Anyway, even if Sony’s new subscription offer does not satisfy everyone, it is so different from those already available on the market that it has a chance to create a positive buzz around it. . It will not only restore a large library of classic titles from previous generations of PlayStation, but also the old fashion of game demos, when they bought trade magazines with attached plates, usually waiting for a few samples of the latest hits. The very condition of Sony, forcing the creation of demos, may in the long term contribute to improving the quality of the productions offered. Will it really be so? We’ll find out in a moment.

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