If you’ve been following the PlayStation VR, you might know that the headset will now officially come with a demo disc containing 8 demos. Since the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 launched, demos have become increasingly rare, and demo discs on the whole have become even rarer. Why? The fact that Sony is providing a demo disc in the box is a huge win for gamers, and gamer’s deserve more demos, not just this one time.
It’s understandable that demos do take a significant amount of time and resources to create, which will eat in to the development time of a full game, however there are many reasons why you should make a demo for your game.
- It lets gamers try out the new technology. Sony is quite good at this, and when the PS4 released they had a lot of mini-games showing off what the light bar and touchpad could do in combination with the PS4 camera. They are doing the same thing with PlayStation VR, in that they know they need to convince people of this new technology.
- It gives people confidence in your product. If you are willing to release a demo before your game releases, it gives buyers a lot more confidence that you believe your product is good enough to be played over and over again, albeit in a compressed format. If you don’t provide a demo, it makes gamers anxious about whether or not they will like it, and they must then rely on other people’s opinions of the game in order to make their decision.
- It allows you to freely test your game. Betas are a sort of demo, although they only focus on the multiplayer aspect of a game, but even then they do give your buyers a sense of what your game is like, and at the same time lets you iron out some bugs in your game.
- It increases your sales! This is a huge advantage of demo discs in particular. When game magazines used to be popular, the main reason they were popular was because you’d buy the magazine in order to play a demo of one of the games on the disc. There may have been another 4 or 5 games on that disc you would never have tried otherwise, but because they were there, you’d give them a go. Final Fantasy 8 was on a demo disc that I received once, and it is now one of my favourite games of all time, and I never would have thought to try it if I didn’t get that demo disc. Even if a demo is available on the PlayStation Store right now, there’s no reason for me to download it unless I already wanted to purchase the game, so this is a major advantage of having a demo disc.
So what I’m trying to say here, is that demo discs were a good thing, and should never have taken a backseat. Developers need to start looking at creating demos once again, it’s not a waste of time or resources, it’s an opportunity for you to show off your product!