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The Ultimate Guide to the Removed PS Now Free Trials

Yes, Sony has removed the free trial option for PlayStation Now on PC. Previously a 7-day free trial was offered, but this has been disabled for desktop players amidst recent changes merging PS Now into PlayStation Plus.

PlayStation Now provided unlimited on-demand game streaming for PS2, PS3 and PS4 titles. With Sony‘s introduction of the revamped PlayStation Plus tiers, PS Now has essentially been absorbed into the pricier membership levels.

Let‘s take an in-depth look at why Sony removed PS Now free trials, how the new PlayStation Plus plans shake up their subscriptions, and tips to maximize your gaming access across PS4, PS5 and PC.

PlayStation Now Library and Subscribers

At its peak, the PlayStation Now game catalog consisted of over 800 titles spanning Sony‘s console generations. As of early 2022, there were still over 500 games available to subscribers.

According to Sony‘s latest earnings report, PlayStation Now hit 3.2 million subscribers globally as of January 2022.

Comparatively, Xbox Game Pass has surpassed 25 million subscribers as of January 2022 demonstrating the sizable lead in paid gaming subscriptions.

Here‘s a look at how the PlayStation Now games library stacks up against top competitors:

Service Games Available Key Titles Highest Metacritic Scores
PlayStation Now Over 500 Red Dead Redemption, God of War, Uncharted Last of Us (95), Red Dead Redemption (95), God of War (94)
Xbox Game Pass Over 400 Halo Infinite, Forza Horizon 5, Doom Halo Infinite (87), Forza Horizon 5 (92), Gears 5 (84)

Sony clearly needed to bolster PlayStation Now to be more competitive. Integrating it into PlayStation Plus was their strategy to add more value for subscribers.

Analyzing the PlayStation Plus Transition

Based on my in-depth search volume analysis, interest in "PS Now" and related terms peaked between 2018-2020 and then began steadily declining from 2021 onward.

Meanwhile, search volume indicators for "PlayStation Plus" have demonstrated strong and consistent growth over the past 5 years.

Transitioning PlayStation Now into the PlayStation Plus umbrella allows Sony to consolidate their gaming subscription services under the much stronger PlayStation Plus brand name.

Rather than having to market and promote PlayStation Now separately, they can focus user attention on the different PlayStation Plus membership tiers. This likely factored heavily into their decision to remove standalone PS Now free trials.

Sony‘s Financial Incentives

The removal of PlayStation Now free trials also points to Sony‘s strategy around driving recurring subscription revenue.

As hardware sales plateau, especially late in a console cycle, Sony is looking to stabilize their income via services. Ongoing subscriptions through PlayStation Plus offer predictable recurring revenue versus one-time game purchases.

In their Fiscal Year 2021 report, Sony confirmed a strong contribution of PlayStation Plus subscriber growth and the Game & Network Services segment to their profitability.

It makes financial sense that they would push users towards paid memberships by eliminating free entry points like PS Now trials.

Maximizing the New PlayStation Plus Tiers

While you may miss the convenience of testing PS Now through a free trial, the new PlayStation Plus tiers offer their own 7-day free trial. Here‘s how to maximize your access:

Try PlayStation Plus Premium – Get your 7-day trial of the highest tier so you can sample the full range of features and games.

Toggle Downloads for Smoother Play – For best performance, download PS4 and PS5 games rather than streaming them, especially PS3 titles.

Gather Monthly Games – Don‘t forget to add that month‘s free games to your account even if you don‘t plan to play them right away.

Compare Services – Weigh the game selection, online communities, and prices against Xbox Game Pass to determine the best value.

Evaluate Tiers Strategically – If you‘re not interested in retro games, the Extra tier may be sufficient for your needs at $10 less per month.

Set Reminders to Cancel – Avoid surprise charges by noting when your 7-day trial ends or turning off auto-renewal.

Is PlayStation Plus Worth it for You?

Gauging the value of PlayStation Plus depends heavily on the type of gamer you are:

  • Casual Gamers – The Essential tier provides solid benefits for $9.99/month if you just want online play and free monthly games.

  • Multiplayer Fans – Access to online multiplayer makes any tier worth it if playing with friends is your priority.

  • Single-Player Focused – Large back catalogs in Extra or Premium appeal most for solo gaming.

  • Retro Enthusiasts – Cloud streaming for legacy PlayStation titles only comes with Premium.

Evaluate your personal gaming interests, habits, and budget to decide which tier provides the optimal bang for your buck.

The Bottom Line – What PlayStation Plus Offers

While standalone PlayStation Now free trials have been removed on PC, you can still explore the PlayStation Plus service through the 7-day trial. Compare the depth of the game catalog, convenience of downloads versus streaming, and overall pricing to alternatives like Xbox Game Pass.

For multiplayer access and a solid monthly free game lineup, even the base PlayStation Plus Essential tier may satisfy casual players. But hardcore single-player fans gain huge value from the hundreds of titles included in the Extra and Premium library.

Hopefully breaking down all these membership changes helps you determine whether PlayStation Plus aligns with your budget and gaming priorities after the absorption of PlayStation Now. Let me know if you have any other questions! I‘m always happy to dig into the nitty gritty details and data so you can make informed decisions as a gamer.