Sony recently announced a brand new initiative on PS5 designed to give potential gamers a taste of certain games before they buy them. On paper, this looks like a brilliant opportunity – the people who play games are consumers, after all, so having the ability to make informed spending decisions based on tangible experience is in everyone’s best interest. Law? Law…?
Wrong. PS5 gaming trials, while stellar in concept, are underbaked to the point of almost unnecessary. I’m not saying it’s intentionally malicious, as much as I’m saying it needs to be heavily reworked if this is to become something worth worrying about. As it stands, Game Trials are little more than a brilliant shine applied to something that is actually a little hollow. You can paint a rock to look like a diamond, but it’s still, you know, a rock.
Essentially, Game Trials allow you to test a game before committing to spending your hard earned money. Wondering if Death Stranding has been worth it for two years? Dude, get that – you can play what’s essentially a six hour demo right now for exactly zero pounds to see if you’re in it. Never mind checking that CVV – put the card away, plug in your BB, and hammer those adaptive triggers like they’re nails in the coffin of consumerism. Bad news, however: the coffin is actually empty. Consumerism was not dead, it was just playing the opossum. Sad.
There are quite a few issues with Game Trials right now. First off, it’s not a service that spans Sony’s entire library – at the time of writing, the only games available for testing are Sackboy: A Big Adventure and the aforementioned Death Stranding Director’s Cut. On top of that, your timer starts the second you hit “download” – my internet is okay, but I know for a fact that I am still losing huge amounts of mileage while waiting for the game to install after the sand has already started. fluid, even if it is only a vertical slice constituting a few selected hours of the complete experience.
It doesn’t matter whether you play it or not – if you start your download at 2 p.m., it goes offline at 8 p.m. Better to clear the calendar, huh? Let’s just hope it settles before 7.
I agree that there are obviously much more damaging schemes. What annoys me about this is that it’s been described as a shiny new thing because people don’t read the fine print. I can assure you, as someone who’s frankly spent too many hours in Death Stranding, that playing for two hours won’t be enough to tell you what you think. God of War and The Last of Us Part 2 are in similar boats (huh? Because they both have boats, like). Granted, the Horizon Zero Dawn intro is excellent, so I guess that might be indicative enough of what you can expect from the rest of the game. A Bloodborne demo would actively deter anyone who wasn’t already a Souls fan from play it, and no self-respecting Souls fan would dream of judging Bloodborne over a few hours of play, so I don’t know who that could possibly serve.
These are all PS4 games and this is a PS5 service – I can see that. But outside of Demon’s Souls, Returnal, and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, there aren’t really any PS5 exclusives yet. I can see this is a good way to gauge interest when titles like Horizon Forbidden West and God of War: Ragnarok – which are also coming to PS4 – launch (hopefully) next year, but it is. still marred by the weird decisions to make the timer starts as soon as you click download and the trial period expires whether you use it or not.
For what it’s worth, I also think it’s worth mentioning that despite the fact that I’m not into console wars – and have traditionally been a huge Sony fan – launch a feature like this. when Game Pass exists is kind of a joke. It’s like having a great local restaurant around the corner where you get good quality food at affordable prices and then a waiter across the road opens a little stall and says, “We have… good food. cold porridge with water! Nutritious, of course. Appetizing? Attractive? Something worth writing home? No in all respects.
PS5 gaming trials are a pretty decent idea – shame about the execution.
Next: Death Stranding Ruined Other Open World Games For Me
Nexomon! Must acquire them all!
About the Author