Try Quest 2 games for free before you buy them
Update, October 20, 2022:
Meta is officially rolling out the feature.
Meta is experimenting with a new way to try VR games before you buy them: for free and for a limited time.
If you want to buy a VR game and aren’t sure if it will meet your expectations, you currently don’t have a way to try it out free. Only a handful of apps offer demos.
While VR games can be returned under certain conditions, that always involves a bit of effort and waiting, and can’t be repeated as often as you’d like.
I have already made one or two bad purchases because the trailers only partially showed me how a VR app feels and what features it offers.
Quest 2: How the free trials work
Virtual reality has many factors on which the quality of the experience depends. Think about the interaction with your hands or the artificial locomotion: If you’re prone to motion sickness, you might not be able to tolerate a VR app at all, and the only way to find out is through trial and error.
Free app testing would therefore be more than appropriate for VR apps, and Meta is currently testing just such a feature, according to US users. A new app category called “Free Trials” has reportedly popped up in the Quest Store, offering limited-time free trials of VR games like Yuki, Zombieland: Headshot Fever, and Startenders.
You can download the VR game in question for free and try it out for 30 minutes. Microtransactions and DLC are blocked, but achievements are obtainable.
The free play time is 15, 30, or 60 minutes, depending on the VR app, according to some VR users who have tried the new Store feature.
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Meta wants to sell VR experiences better
Meta hasn’t announced anything along those lines yet, and as far as anyone knows, the test is only running in the US with select studios. It is likely that developers will be able to decide for themselves if and when they offer the feature for their VR apps after the launch.
All sides would benefit from such a feature: Studios could promote their VR apps in a more targeted way and consumers could get a better impression of a VR game without having to pull out their wallets right away. This should lead to better sales figures – especially for VR apps that are difficult to present via videos.
The free app trials are part of a larger store initiative by Metas to better showcase VR experiences up front. Developers can now add 3D elements to product pages and later put potential buyers in a game environment.