Sony will be opening up the PlayStation Plus online multiplayer for non-subscribers next week, offering the normally paid online service for free from Feb. 22 to Feb. 26.
Sony has been enjoying a banner few months after being surpassed by Microsoft in console sales for much of late 2016. The PS4 topped console sales this January despite the Xbox One enjoying its best annual growth yet, and several promising PS4 exclusives are on the horizon in 2017, which should bolster the number of consoles sold even further before the year is out.
That isn’t to say that Sony has distanced itself from the competition entirely – Microsoft’s Xbox One actually sold more units in 2016 than it did the previous year, an almost unthinkable achievement this far into the current console generation’s lifespan. As a result, Sony has shown that it isn’t shy about mimicking the things the company thinks Microsoft is doing right, and that continued today when Sony announced it would be offering its PlayStation Plus online multiplayer subscriber service for free from February 22 to February 26.
That news comes following a similar announcement from Microsoft, which will be offering Xbox Live Silver users the ability to play online with no restrictions from February 16 to February 19. Sony’s free online multiplayer period will only apply to the multiplayer function itself, however, as other benefits like free PlayStation Plus games and store discounts won’t be offered alongside the online service. For comparison’s sake, that’s a slightly more limited approach than the one Microsoft took, as the Microsoft promotion also offers Silver (essentially, free) users a free trial of Rocket League and NBA 2K17 as well.
Still, the sneak peek at one of Sony’s most prominent PS4 service is a deft attempt to get players interested in PlayStation Plus once more, especially those who might have been given the console during the holiday season and had yet to consider whether they wanted online multiplayer or not. It appears that Sony is aggressively targeting newer consumers with its latest PS4 initiatives, as on top of the PlayStation Plus preview, Sony recently announced that it would be dropping prices on PS4 bundles in the near future.
There’s a lot to be excited for as a fan of Sony’s console – the fact that insiders already consider Horizon: Zero Dawn to be franchise material is just one of them – and it’s clear from this promotion that Sony feels the same. Hooking players on online multiplayer is one of the top priorities of any console manufacturer, and it looks like some new players will be joining the fold come next week in February.