Demos are Making a Console Comeback in a Big Way

October 25, 2019 by  
Filed under News

Demo discs were once a staple of the video game experience, but during the transition to online-focused consoles, developers stopped offering these discs with popular game magazines and eventually stopped making demo versions altogether. It is understandable why developers would stop making demos as they cost money to make, and need to be good enough to entice a player but without being too extensive. However, the demise of the demo created a gaming space where players had to effectively take a chance on a title based on its cover, trailer, and some opinionated reviews, making many who lived through the age of the demo discs long for the old days.

So are demos making a comeback?

The time and costs to make a demo version are understandably not ideal for developers, but given the impetus placed on virtual storefronts over physical copies, one would assume that almost all developers would want to showcase their games with a demo mode. While this isn’t quite the case yet, the major console platforms are becoming increasingly player-friendly with an ever-growing stock of demos – many of which are for some truly great games.

In fact, the comeback of the demos has spread across all gaming platforms, from the likes of the new Nintendo Switch Lite all the way to iGaming websites. When the best casino bonuses in New Zealand are ranked and rated, no-deposit free spins – which allow for entirely free gaming on popular titles – are considered a significant advantage. While console stands out as the best in this regard, all three of this generation’s consoles feature a good number of demos that allow players to try before they buy.

Nintendo Switch is loaded with demos

Actually, it’s not just the Switch: all modern Nintendo consoles – from home to handheld – boast a tremendous library of game demos, many of which are for the company’s biggest, best, and most exclusive games. The Switch alone boasts over 200 available demos, which includes new and upcoming titles like Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, Resident Evil 5, Dragon Quest Builders 2, Yoshi’s Crafted World, Pokemon: Let’s Go, and the highly-rated Octopath Traveler, which is praised for its deep and immersive gameplay and myriad of plot lines. Nintendo is well-known as being a very player-friendly console, so it should come as no surprise that they lead the way on the demos front.

Xbox One is comparatively lacking

The Xbox One has struggled to compete during this console generation. While the Xbox Game Pass is an innovative service, the console has lacked top-class exclusives which, in the end, dictate the preferred console. Their store is also lacking in available demos, particularly from their exclusive line-up, with a little over 60 available. While there are the Forza Horizon games and Zoo Tycoon, people looking to test out Xbox One games will likely be disappointed.

PlayStation 4 has a more tactical approach

The PlayStation 4 boasts over 100 demos which feature some of their PSVR titles and exclusives like Detroit: Become Human and Wipeout: Omega Collection, but their demo strategy is more focussed on introducing less-mainstream titles. There is a huge range of Japanese-style game demos in the PS4 Store that allows audiences outside of Asia to try out games which, perhaps, they wouldn’t usually pay full price to get simply due to the contrasting style to what they’re used to playing.

Thanks to the availability of the internet and the prevalence of online stores on game consoles, developers are, once again, coming around to offering demos so that players can get a hands-on taste of a game, helping them to decide if they want to invest.