One of the selling points of the PlayStation 3 over the Xbox 360 is that online multiplayer is free with the purchase of any game, unless picking up a used copy with an already redeemed online pass. However, Sony didn’t continue this policy with PlayStation 4 and online multiplayer requires PS Plus for PS4 titles moving forward.
For most gamers, the paid subscription for online multiplayer is not an issue as Sony previously indicated half of PS4 owners subscribe to PS Plus. For those who don’t subscribe to the online service, PlayStation.Blog revealed today a trial period to highlight the multiplayer offerings for games already in players' libraries.
Starting Friday March 20 at 12:01 PT and going through Sunday March 22 at 11:59 PT, Sony will offer free online multiplayer for all PS4 titles. This free offering will allow anyone who lives in North America to launch any title they own and access the online multiplayer sections which usually require PS Plus.
As part of PS Plus, members also receive six free games across the PS3, PS4 and Vita each month, along with rotating sales such as the current Spring Fever promotion. Despite these being appealing reasons to sign up for the membership, these perks will not be included during the free multiplayer weekend.
This free PS4 multiplayer weekend occurs right after the launch of Battlefield: Hardline, a title which will succeed based upon the strength of its online community. The promotional image (featured above) and the PlayStation.Blog highlight this game heavily as being one of the strengths for jumping online to play with friends and strangers alike.
With this level of exposure, Electronic Arts appears confident that Battlefield: Hardline won’t repeat Battlefield 4’s mistakes of an unstable online environment. Fear of these online issues could cause some players hesitation to pick up Battlefield: Hardline and EA is looking to disperse those feelings however possible. But for gamers who pick up a copy of Battlefield: Hardline and don’t subscribe to PS Plus this weekend will serve as their best opportunity to discover all of the game's online offerings – including an Easter egg that allows players to drive a couch!
Whether gamers take advantage of the aforementioned swerve-able sofa, challenge the fastest solo-raid completion on Destiny or jump into Helldivers with friends, this free weekend of multiplayer on PS4 is a good strategy for Sony in a bid to offer its fans new experiences and entice them to stay with the subscription service.
What games will you play online this weekend? Will you be playing something online for the first time or anticipating an influx of new players?
Source: PlayStation Blog