In what’s clearly an attempt at luring more users to its online subscription gaming service, this week Sony revealed that its offering free PlayStation Plus access this weekend. Everyone who owns one of the company’s PS4 consoles will get the opportunity to play online with other users.
Sony announced Free PlayStation Plus Weekend on its PlayStation Blog. PlayStation Plus is the service that lets owners of Sony’s consoles play games together and interact with each other online. It boasts everything from voice chat to parties where groups and friends can work together in a game’s multiplayer experience. PlayStation Plus was a completely free service when it launched on the PS3. The PS4 has never offered Free PlayStation Plus access.
It seems that Sony isn’t just holding this free event to lure new subscribers to its service, it’s also trying to capitalize on the success of Star Wars Battlefront. That makes sense given that it recently lowered the price of its Star Wars Battlefront PS4 bundle to $299. Also, the game is getting a tie-in soon that’s inspired by Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the upcoming entry in the long-running film franchise. In a promotional image for the event, Sony teases Star Wars Battlefront, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, NBA 2K16, Madden NFL 16, Destiny: The Taken King and Grand Theft Auto Online. All have multiplayer elements that’ll be unlocked this weekend.
Beginning on Friday, December 11th, playing any online game for the PS4 won’t require that users purchase a PlayStation Plus subscription. Sony says that Free PlayStation Plus Weekend will run until Monday, December 14th at midnight. When the event is over, players will no longer be able to play games online if they don’t have a PlayStation Plus subscription.
To be clear, Free PlayStation Plus Weekend is only includes getting into multiplayer matches. PlayStation Plus comes with other benefits besides online multiplayer access. For example, subscribers get their own set of gaming deals and get to download a few digital games a month for their console with making any additional purchases. During Free PlayStation Plus Weekend, users that don’t have the service won’t get the chance to download any games through the service.
Free PlayStation Plus Weekend is great for anyone that owns a title and wants to play online. Theoretically, it’s also great for users that might want to rent a game they’ve never tried before or wouldn’t otherwise have the means to play. GameFly and Redbox both offer video game rentals. So does PlayStation Store, through its PlayStation Now subscription service.
Taking advantage of Free PlayStation Plus Weekend doesn’t require any special code, but does require a decent broadband internet connection. It’s also a good idea to have a PlayStation headset or a pair of earphones at the ready in case a game requires some team work. The PlayStation DualShock 4 controller has a built-in headset jack, so gaming specific headsets aren’t necessary.
After Free PlayStation Plus Weekend ends, users can purchase a subscription directly through their PS4 console or in-store at GameStop and Best Buy. A month of PlayStation Plus costs $9.99. A year of PlayStation Plus is just $50, $10 less than the price of a recently released title.
Hours ago, Microsoft struck back with its own Holiday 2015 related deals and event. The company slashed the cost of its Xbox One entertainment console bundles by $50 and revealed that users will get to play Elder Scrolls Online at no additional charge using Xbox Live Gold. That free games weekend promotion runs this weekend too.