On Wednesday, Microsoft announced the first-ever free trial of a full, unlocked retail game on an Xbox platform. Will be the first game to get the “Gold Weekend” treatment Forza Motorsport5which will be free to download and play for all Xbox Live Gold members on Xbox One starting Thursday, September 4 and running until the following Sunday.
While almost all games on Xbox 360 and many games on Xbox One are available for download as a free trial, what sets this offer apart is the full, start-to-finish experience of a game that hasn’t yet been purchased. It also seems to split the difference between limited trials and the free games given out to Gold members through the Games With Gold promotion.
Adding to the confusion is that this differs from Xbox Live’s occasional “free weekends”, which had usually opened up online play to users who still had to pay for a Gold subscription. We’ve asked Microsoft to confirm the technical details of this promotion: whether an uninterrupted online connection is required to play the game in question, what will happen mid-game if the trial ends at midnight PST on Sunday, and whether we’ll be able to cancel the promotion. reach Xbox 360 – and we’ll update this post with any clarifications.
It’s been years since Steam started offering free, limited-time trials of full games, usually over a weekend to encourage players to sign up for the full version once their free few days are up. Oddly enough, game consoles had yet to follow suit before this announcement, despite being equipped to download games and verify online memberships. None of the last-gen consoles have ever supported such a timed trial of a full game, and Sony’s PlayStation 4 has yet to receive an equivalent (perhaps because the PlayStation Plus service has given out so many free games already). without time restrictions).