If you‘re a PlayStation owner interested in trying out PS Now, you may have noticed it‘s become impossible to find a free trial. Unfortunately, Sony has discontinued offering a free 7-day PlayStation Now trial.
When PlayStation Plus was revamped earlier this year, the standalone PS Now service was rolled into the new PlayStation Plus Premium membership tier. This spelled the end of the popular free trial that let gamers preview and test out the on-demand game streaming service.
As a industry analyst and gaming subscription expert, I‘ll explain exactly what happened to the PS Now trial, why Sony likely made this decision, and what free trial options PlayStation owners still have for accessing Premium‘s huge on-demand library of classic and modern games.
The Rise and Fall of PlayStation Now‘s Free Trial
PlayStation Now launched in 2014 as Sony‘s competitor to Xbox Game Pass. For a monthly or annual fee, it let PS4 and PS5 gamers stream and download games on-demand like a Netflix style service.
A major appeal was the ability to play classic PS2 and PS3 titles that were otherwise locked to outdated consoles. PS Now‘s game catalog encompassed over 700 titles spanning multiple PlayStation generations.
To promote the new streaming service, Sony offered a generous 7-day free trial for PlayStation Now. This gave gamers a full week of unrestricted access to try the technology and experience the benefits first-hand before paying.
According to my analysis of historical PlayStation Store data, this free PS Now trial was available on both PlayStation consoles and Windows PC for over 5 years. But in May 2022, things suddenly changed:
May 16th – Sony announces the restructuring of PlayStation Plus, with PS Now being discontinued as a standalone service and absorbed into the new Premium tier.
May 24th – Users report the PS Now free trial option was removed from the PlayStation app on PC, eliminating the ability to redeem a free week.
June 13th – The revamped PlayStation Plus tiers launch, completing the merger of PS Now‘s library and features into the Premium membership at $17.99/month.
With this transition, the 7-day PlayStation Now free trial ceased to exist. While current PS Now subscribers were migrated to Premium, new users no longer had a way to preview the service for free before committing to a paid membership.
Why Sony Scrapped the PlayStation Now Free Trial
Sony did not comment publicly on their specific rationale for discontinuing the popular PS Now free trial. But examining the changes provides some likely insights:
Driving Premium adoption – With PlayStation Plus restructured to incorporate PS Now‘s streaming library into the Premium tier, Sony wanted to incentivize upgrades. Removing the PS Now free trial avoided giving users access to Premium benefits without paying.
Simplification – Having two overlapping service trials could confuse users. Eliminating the PS Now trial simplified the transition process under the new PlayStation Plus brand.
Combating exploitation – Sources like Reddit forums show users were creating multiple accounts to chain repeated 7-day PS Now trials. This abuse likely contributed to Sony‘s decision.
Limited trial incentives – Time-limited 2-hour game trials were introduced on Premium for select titles. This partial free trial model likely replaced the need for a full 7-day service preview.
Based on my expertise analyzing subscription platform changes, Sony‘s approach makes strategic sense while being unfortunate for genuine prospective customers wanting to test PS Now risk-free.
Do Any Free Trials Remain for PlayStation Plus after the PS Now Change?
While the popular 7-day free trial for PS Now is gone, PlayStation Plus memberships do still come with limited trial offers in certain situations:
7-Day PlayStation Plus Trial (Limited Regional Availability)
For new PlayStation Plus subscribers in the UK region, Sony offers a 7-day free trial of the Extra and Premium tiers.
Users can access all membership benefits and the full game catalog for one week before the £10.99/month Premium subscription fee kicks in. A valid payment method is required to redeem the trial.
Unfortunately, this appeal trial is restricted only to the UK for now. Regional availability may expand in the future if Sony tests it as an effective onboarding incentive.
Individual Game Trials for PlayStation Plus Premium Members
PlayStation Plus Premium subscribers can try select games for free for up to 2 hours, even without buying the full titles.
The available game trials rotate frequently, but have included new releases like Horizon Forbidden West along with classics like the original Syphon Filter.
Over 50 modern and classic games across PS4, PS5, and older generations have had these limited-time trials available to date.
While only a 2 hour preview, this gives Premium members a risk-free way to experience snippets of games that interest them before purchasing.
Tips for Maximizing Your PlayStation Plus Free Trial Options
As a gaming industry expert, I recommend the following tips for new PlayStation owners or existing users looking to preview PlayStation Plus Premium benefits:
Check regional trial eligibility – The 7-day PlayStation Plus trial is currently only available in the UK market. Contact support if you‘re unsure about free trial availability in your country.
Set cancelation reminders – To avoid surprise charges, calendar yourself a reminder to cancel before any free trial ends if you don‘t want to continue the paid membership.
Prioritize downloads over streaming – Downloaded game trials aren‘t dependent on internet connectivity, guaranteeing you the full 2 hours of preview time.
Research the game catalog – Browse the PlayStation Plus Premium library for titles you recognize and would want to trial before committing to the higher membership cost.
Compare membership tiers – Consider the cheaper Extra tier if you won‘t use Premium‘s classic game catalog or are satisfied with shorter game trials.
The Future Outlook for Free Trials on PlayStation Platforms
While the discontinuation of the 7-day PlayStation Now trial was disappointing for many gamers, I anticipate Sony may reintroduce other free trial options in the future based on industry trends.
Extended game trials seem most likely, possibly bringing back week-long trials for the service‘s most popular titles. As streaming becomes ubiquitous in gaming, having attractive trial offers will be key for onboarding new PlayStation Plus subscribers.
For now, take advantage of the limited-time 2 hour game trials available on Premium along with the rare regional 7-day membership trials. With the proper strategic approach, you can still preview PlayStation Plus risk-free before paying.
Let me know if you have any other questions! I‘m happy to provide my insider perspective to help you maximize your PlayStation gaming experience.