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The new Battlefield comes out tomorrow, and you can play it online with friends this weekend on PlayStation 4 even if you don’t have a subscription to PS Plus.
Sony announced today that it is letting everyone experience online multiplayer on the PS4 for free starting Friday at 12:01 a.m. Pacific time. The trial period ends Sunday at 11:59 p.m., which should give you some time to see how multiplayer works in Battlefield: Hardline. On Monday, like Cinderella’s chariot, online multiplayer will revert to its original form, which is to say that you’ll need to pay a recurring fee to Sony. This is the second time Sony has let non-PS Plus PS4 owners play online for free.
Typically, playing online with other people requires PlayStation Plus. Gamers can purchase this service for $18 for three months or $50 for a year. In addition to letting PS4 owners play with each other, PS Plus also gives players access to an instant library of releases, which rotates each month for the various Sony platforms.
The timing of this free weekend comes just as publisher Electronic Arts is about to release one of the biggest online shooters of the year. Battlefield: Hardline is the follow-up to Battlefield 4, which hit in late 2013 and was one of the top-selling releases that fall. The game is sure to sell well on all platforms, which includes PS4, Xbox One, and PC, but Microsoft has a bit of an advantage when it comes to EA games. Thanks to the Xbox One-exclusive EA Access program, which is the publisher’s premium subscription program, players on Microsoft’s console have had access to the shooter for several days already. That may convince Battlefield megafans to choose the Xbox One version over the PS4’s — the free weekend for online multiplayer is one way Sony is fighting back.
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