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The Sad Truth About PS5's Free Game Trials

For PS5 gamers, the idea of free game trials may appear to be a blessing, but they might end up being a curse for some. PS5 game prices turned heads when they were first announced, and even though the truth about game prices points to an increase in value and a decrease in overall cost, gamers are feel understandably wary of any change in the market. Thankfully, PS5 owners can finally try out select games before making a commitment with their wallets. However, there's a catch.

Sony has quietly introduced a Game Trials feature to the PS5, which allows players to download a game to try out for a specific amount of time. According to Eurogamer, the trials are only available for UK gamers. Players can currently try out two games — "Death Stranding: Director's Cut" and "Sackboy: A Big Adventure" — but hopefully more titles will be added in the future. Players can enjoy 6 full hours of "Death Stranding," and 5 hours of "Sackboy" to determine if they'd like to purchase the full game.

On the surface, the deal sounds perfect. Players can download a game and play for several hours before deciding if they'd like to purchase it or not. Unlike demos, which offer a more limited view of a game, Sony's trials present gamers with the full game experience. So what's the catch? As it turns out, the trial starts counting down as soon as players press the download button. For many, that small detail could spell disaster.

Disappointed PS5 fans race against the clock

For games as large as "Death Stranding Director's Cut," which has a hefty 68 GB file size, the download process might last for the entirety of the game trial, depending on your internet speeds. If you have to take 3 hours to download the game, that's more than half of your demo time down the drain. One gamer posted their experience with the PS5 trial, writing, "I started downloading Death Stranding to try out today but instead have woken up to the trial being finished. Still no idea if I should buy it." Other players explained that it could take upwards of 10 hours to download a game like "Death Stranding," making actually playing the game during the trial impossible.

Considering that Game Trials are currently only available in the UK, it's possible Sony will tweak its time limit rules before bringing the feature to other parts of the world. In the meantime, thoughtful gamers are trying to find ways around the limited play window to allow users to actually, you know, download the game. One Redditor suggested that players should use two PSN accounts to bypass the trial time — one account downloads the game while another can begin a new trial for the already downloaded title. 

Outside of a few clever cheats, there appears to be no feasible way for UK gamers to currently enjoy "Death Stranding Director's Cut" or "Sackboy: A Big Adventure" for free — at least, not for any meaningful amount of time — unless they have lightning fast internet.