With another Nintendo Direct (albeit a miniature one) behind us, Nintendo has released another demo for another highly anticipated game just before its launch, this time for the remake of cult-classic JRPG Live A Live. It’s a pattern that the company has established over the years and only improved over time, with many demos now featuring the ability to transfer progress over to the full games once they launch, usually weeks later. It’s a free service leveraged powerfully for Nintendo’s exclusives–and one that stands in stark contrast to the almost non-existent counterparts offered on Sony and Microsoft’s hardware.
While both Microsoft and Sony have recently warmed up again to the idea of game demos in some form, their approaches are far from that of Nintendo. Sony, for example, is kicking off several time-limited game trials for some of its exclusives, with Horizon Forbidden West being one of the first games supported. Like with some of the offered Nintendo games, you’ll be able to carry over your Horizon progress should you want to dive into the full game, too.
The catch, however, is that the Horizon game trial isn’t free–instead, it’s offered as a bonus for subscribers to PlayStation Plus, and only to those currently paying for the service’s highest membership tier. It seems misguided to offer trials solely to customers who are already so deeply invested in the ecosystem rather than a broader group of potential new customers. That’s especially true considering Sony’s decision to not immediately add new exclusives to these PS Plus tiers as soon as they launch.