Two of the things on my “Things I miss from being a child” list, are toys in cereal, and console game demos.
I recently downloaded the demo for Forza Horizon 2 and thoroughly enjoyed it, but it made me think… What happened to game demos? Previous to FH2, I don’t remember the last demo I downloaded onto a console. There was a stage on the Xbox 360 where I would be downloading demos left, right and centre. What’s that new game? Demo, love it, buy it. What’s the one over there? Demo, hate it, dodged a bullet.
If I had a pound for every game that I had bought on a whim, having not played a demo because one wasn’t available, and then regretted it and returned it shortly after, I’d have enough to buy another game, obviously after finding a demo for it.
It seems to me that nowadays, the only real sort of demo you get are Betas, which you have to be in the right place at the right time to get involved in. Twitch is also another go to option. I’ve done it loads if I’m thinking about buying a game. Hop onto Twitch and watch a few people playing it at different stages, listen to what they say, make an informed decision and move on with my life, with or without said game in hand.
Bottom line, developers need to start making more demos!
Editor’s Note: With the introduction of the PS4’s Shareplay function, gamers can now ‘have a shot’ of their friend’s copy of a game they may wish to purchase. This marks less of a need for demos and allows players to make a practical informed decision as to whether they would buy a title without having to rent or just blow £50+ on a title as a gamble.
Whether Microsoft choose to implement a similar system in the future is unknown, but it would certainly help towards customer satisfaction when buying games.