Online storefronts can be a tricky thing. With regular updates flowing in and out of the PSN, Xbox Live, and Steam stores, it’s sometimes hard to prevent a few little things from slipping through the cracks. Sometimes a new feature or price point gets out early, or in the case of The Last of Us Remastered, a previously unannounced game gets inadvertently confirmed.
In today’s edition of “Oops We Didn’t Mean to Post That, Nothing to See Here People” we are highlighting the Free Play Day program that Microsoft accidentally revealed for Xbox One this week. As with most of these inadvertent leaks, Microsoft says the option was nothing more than a mistake and that no such program exists, but we’re not inclined to believe that just yet, especially after the tweet below.
News of this mysterious Free Play Day program surfaced after a new menu option appeared on the Xbox Live store. At a glance it seemed like nothing out of the ordinary; three games – Crimson Dragon, Strike Suit Zero, and Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, – listed side by side. But, unlike the former two games, which were listed as Free Games With Gold offerings, Max carried a “Free Play Day with Gold” designation.
Considering Max: The Curse of Brotherhood was, at one point, a free Games with Gold offering it stands to reason that Microsoft could have made a mistake. But the Free Play Day option is too intriguing to ignore at this point.
Which leads into the question of what Free Play Day might be. The obvious answer is that Microsoft is preparing a program whereby Xbox Live Gold members get 24-hour access to a single game. But then we’re left wondering what types of games Microsoft might offer and how often a Free Play Day might occur. Moreover, does the Free Play Day program bolster the burgeoning Games with Gold option or will it replace it? 24 hours of access is hardly comparable to a totally free game.
However, if Microsoft leverages this idea well they could be onto something. Offering a 24-hour demo, of sorts, not only helps increase the exposure of the program’s featured game but it also helps boost the value of the Xbox Live Gold service. As it stands, most see PS Plus subscription service as a must while they view Xbox Live Gold as an unwanted ball and chain.
Things are getting better, though, as Microsoft has pushed for more competitive options for their Games with Gold program. Where GWG once offered 2-year-old games like Halo 3 and Assassin’s Creed 2, the program now boasts more up-to-date options. Couple that with a Free Play Day program that offers more recent games, but for a shorter period of time, and Microsoft could be on to something.
What do you think of a Free Day Play program for Xbox One? Should Microsoft pursue such an option if they aren’t already?