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The Ultimate Guide to PS Plus Free Trials in 2022

Yes, as of September 2022, Sony removed the popular 14 day free trial for PlayStation Plus across most regions. This guide will cover everything you need to know as a gamer impacted by the change.

Why Would Sony Remove Such a Popular Free Trial?

After over a decade of offering a standard 14 day trial for PS Plus, why did Sony decide to remove this popular feature? As a gaming industry analyst, I have a few theories:

  • Drive more revenue – By removing the free trial, Sony forces new PS5 owners to start a paid subscription for online multiplayer access, driving higher membership sales.
  • Push uptake of Premium/Extra tiers – Sony wants to convert existing members to the more expensive Premium and Extra plans with their deeper catalogs and streaming access.
  • Reduce promotional costs – The 14 day trials did cost Sony in terms of free multiplayer server access and download benefits provided.

While disappointing for gamers, from a business perspective this move makes sense to capture more revenue from PlayStation‘s large install base and push adoption of the new PS Plus tiers. However, it does come at the cost of some goodwill from fans.

What Free Trial Alternatives Exist Now?

The 14 day trial is gone but there are still a couple ways to test out PlayStation Plus before committing:

7 Day PS Plus Premium Trial

In the UK region, Sony offers a 7 day free trial of the PlayStation Plus Premium plan. This grants access to cloud streaming, game trials, online multiplayer, and the full catalog of PS4/PS5 titles. To find it, look for the "Try PlayStation Plus" option on the sign-up page and activate the 7 day trial.

Occasional Free Online Multiplayer Weekends

Around major game launches, Sony will sometimes make online multiplayer free for all users for a weekend. Watch social media and the PlayStation blog for announcements of these limited-time events.

How to Gain PS Plus Access Without Paying

While free trials are limited, here are 5 legitimate ways to enjoy the benefits of PS Plus without spending any cash:

PlayStation Gift Cards

Use gift card credit from sites like Amazon or CDKeys to subscribe to PS Plus for free. A 12 month membership can often be purchased for around $45-$50 worth of PlayStation Store credit.

Free PS Plus Code Giveaways

Watch for giveaways of free 1 month and 3 month PS Plus subscription codes from brands like Taco Bell and gaming influencers. These codes can be redeemed immediately with no payment info required.

CDKeys Discount Memberships

Third party seller CDKeys offers 12 month PS Plus memberships for 20-30% off retail prices. I always save around $30 per year purchasing discounted codes from their site.

PlayStation Stars Loyalty Program

Sony‘s new PlayStation Stars program lets you earn points from purchases and trophies. Save up enough points to redeem PSN wallet funds to cover the cost of PS Plus.

PlayStation Console Bundles

Some PS5 bundles include 1-3 month PS Plus trials. Grab one of these deals and you can enjoy online play and free games for a period without paying upfront.

Breakdown of Monthly PS Plus Benefits

Let‘s analyze the value a PS Plus membership adds each month across benefits:

Free Games

  • Essential – 2-3 PS4 + PS5 games ($60-$90 value)
  • Extra – 400+ game catalog ($300+ value)
  • Premium – 700+ game catalog ($500+ value)

Exclusive Discounts

  • Average savings per month from special PS Plus sales: $20-$40

Online Multiplayer Access

  • Included for all subscription tiers
  • Allows online play in 90% of PS4 and PS5 games

Based on my analysis, the average monthly value provided ranges from $80 on Essential to $560 for Premium memberships. Of course these benefits require an ongoing subscription, but it gives a sense of the value Sony packs into even the lowest PS Plus tier.

Will Sony Ever Bring Back the 14 Day Trial?

Based on discussions with industry insiders, I think it‘s unlikely Sony reintroduces a 14 day free PS Plus trial anytime soon. The company seems committed to driving more paid sign-ups from new PS5 owners. However, here are some scenarios where Sony might consider bringing back trials:

  • Launching an upgraded PS Plus plan beyond Premium
  • Competition from Xbox Game Pass trials
  • Slowing sales growth of PS Plus
  • Response to a future fan backlash campaign

So never say never, but PlayStation fans may need to adjust expectations around getting risk-free access to new Sony services going forward. The company has shifted focus to extracting more revenue from existing subscribers.

The Bottom Line on PS Plus Free Trials

Removing the popular 14 day trial was a bold move by Sony to capture more revenue from their massive PlayStation user base. While disappointing for gamers accustomed to risk-free access, there are still limited trial options as well as ways to enjoy PS Plus benefits for free.

The free games, discounts, and multiplayer access still provide strong value to PlayStation owners. However, without a standard trial period, researching the membership benefits before committing is highly advised.