PlayStation Plus is free for a week starting today, so those of you who are skeptical of what a subscription will get you can see for yourselves. This means multiplayer games will work for everyone who has a PlayStation profile until February 23.
If you’re a trophy hunter who feels cheated every time a game requires you to play with others to get that elusive Platinum, this is your chance. Outside single-player titles like Far Cry: Primal and Assassin’s Creed II, the lack of a multiplayer connection can often leave as many as half of these coveted rewards behind a paywall. It’s not known if trophies for multiplayer activities will be activated, but you can find out for free this week.
Europe will get the same treat next week, so it appears North American gamers will only be able to play free within the region. If you’re hankering for a game of Street Fighter V against an English gamer who isn’t already a subscriber, you’re out of luck.
Of course, if you’re antisocial, you can always just not agree to co-op or compete. Sony is giving you that choice for now.
They want everyone to try it in case they’ve been wrong about getting the most from their games this whole time. There is no signing up to do. You just start the game and play with others.
There is no guarantee that this week of free multiplayer will change the initial policies, however. Sony may simply be giving gamers a chance to see what they’ve been missing to entice them to sign up like they do perhaps once a year.
The official PlayStation Blog states that there is no obligation at all.
“All you need to do is get comfy, pick out your [favorite] games from your collection, pop them in your PS4 and you’ll find all the online modes unlocked and ready to play. So you don’t really have anything to lose by trying it out, and you never know, you might find that PlayStation Plus takes you to places you never thought possible where you can meet like-minded gamers all looking for people to play with.”
There is also another downside to this week of PlayStation Plus free, as you won’t be able to choose from the selection of free monthly games. That’s for subscribers only.
Perhaps if this week proves profitable enough, Sony may open up multiplayer indefinitely, making the PS4 the first free multiplayer console in over a decade and forcing Xbox to reconsider their policies again. It would require re-tooling the software to make PS Plus mandatory for the free monthly games, which would still be a catchy idea. They might even consider making the free multiplayer service regional only, so your friends have to be in the same nation to see who’s the better killer in Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.
Considering that in the days of the original PlayStation, your multiplayer sessions only required having a place for up to three friends to sit, this could be the closest gamers will get to having that again. When the N64 was popular, all you needed was three extra controllers and a couch.
If Sony decides to take that route after this week, the PlayStation 4 could once again dominate the console wars long after the Scorpio arrives.
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