Blizzard announces an Overwatch free weekend on PS4 and Xbox One with every single character and map available, along with the level up system and loot boxes.
Blizzard's newest IP, Overwatch, has seen huge success since being released on PC and consoles back in May. The multiplayer shooter has drawn in over 15 million players across all platforms, with Blizzard's bottom line benefiting from both sales of the of opening the goodie-providing loot boxes.
However, perhaps unsatisfied with the game's strong performance as is, Blizzard is set to encourage even more gamers to buy the title as it prepares to launch a free Overwatch weekend on PS4 and Xbox One. The free weekend will take place later this week, between September 9 and September 12, which should give console players ample time to get to grips with the title.
According to a post on Overwatch's official website, the upcoming weekend trial will include almost everything that paid-for players get to experience. All 22 of the currently available characters will be playable for free, along with 13 maps (including new map Eichenwalde) and game modes (including Weekly Brawl, Custom Games and Quick Play). As expected, rumored character, Sombra will not be featured, despite Blizzard continuing to tease the hero with in-game and online clues.
Hero customization, leveling up, and unlocking the loot boxes that come with the XP-earning mechanic will be available, though, with players able to keep whatever they unlock if they buy Overwatch: Origins Edition. No downtime or maintenance periods are planned either, so players can look forward to an uninterrupted experience as they look to level up and the like.
It should be noted that although Playstation Plus isn't required to participate in the free Overwatch weekend on PS4 Xbox Live Gold is required to take part on Xbox One. Overwatch isn't the only game to do this recently, with the Battlefield 1 open beta also requiring Xbox Live Gold but not PS Plus. Understandably, some Xbox One gamers have already commented that they feel like they're getting a raw deal here as free weekends and game events are technically not "free" to them.
As for whether PC players will be able to take part in a free Overwatch weekend in the future, that much is unclear for now. However, Li Riqiang, the president of NetEase (a company that is in partnership with Blizzard) has previously spoken about the possibility of an Overwatch free trial. Riqiang didn't get specific with platforms but it stands to reason that if a free trial is rolled out (as opposed to just a free weekend) that PC will be included.
Overwatch is out now for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.