Team Green has finally realised that playing games without restriction for an entire weekend is a great way to market them to new players. How do we know this? Because they said as much yesterday via Xbox Wire that Forza 5 for the Xbox One will be entirely free to play from Thursday the 4th of September to Sunday the 7th. It’s the first-ever “Free Weekend” for a game on the Xbox platform.

The better news is that Forza 5 will be playable in its entirety with no time restrictions within the free period like Electronic Arts places on trials obtained through EA Access and EA’s Game Time promotions. It’s the whole enchilada, with zero limitations, and will play like you actually bought it.

Don’t get too excited just yet, though, as the offer is only for Xbox One owners with active Xbox Live Gold subscriptions, but it’s a good start.

While that doesn’t do much for local gamers who are waiting for the South African Xbox One launch on the 23rd (or people that don’t do XBL), it shows Microsoft is making some very real, and very useful progress towards making their gaming platform more attractive.

Steam, meanwhile, has been doing this for a while now with its Free Weekend promotions that let all Steam members download and play full games for nothing. So the idea isn’t new, it’s just new to Microsoft.

Lastly, it would seem that waiting for the Xbox One – while sucky – has allowed Microsoft enough time to ensure it has so much more to give new territories than it did at launch, which I’d say is a pretty decent trade-off.

[Source – Xbox Wire]
Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.