Are video game demos still useful?

Are video game demos still useful?

Year after year, the beloved world of video games continues to evolve. What changes are not only the interactive software created by the developers, but also the gaming machines, the ways of use, purchasing methods and many other technologies and services directly related to the video game itself. Throughout this growth process, a fundamental element of video game history has survived: playable demos. Although in the last decade they have not experienced a who knows how rosy period, in the future we could also expect interesting news on this front.

Today, therefore, in this special we want to offer you a complete overview of the demos at the beginning of the ninth generation of video games, trying to answer the question: do we still need game demos in 2021?

Why they are important

The control and interaction system called Dualsense of Playstation 5 It seems to us rather superfluous to define the essence of a video game on our pages. What we want to emphasize, however, is its interactive nature. The gamer's actions within the software are fundamental and the way in which they are performed by it are an important part of the videogame experience. In a film or TV series, the viewer only has to watch and listen to the work in order to make the most of the experience. In a video game, on the other hand, the player has an important role and it is himself the one who creates the visual experience, starting from the banal movement of the camera in a 3D game, from the moral choices made in an RPG or creating the real action in a sports title. In short, there are many ways in which we are allowed to interact with a video game and it is this part that makes them different and fascinating compared to simple audiovisual content.

New upcoming games are often announced with a trailer, typically followed by several gameplay videos. However, understand that these audiovisual contents are not enough to fully understand the video game, in fact for this reason the famous hands on are often performed in which a player tries the title and then tells his experience with the interaction of the software. And this is where the demos come into play, the central point of our special. The answer to the question posed above should now be taken for granted: demos are still essential today if you want to experience the interaction offered by the video game first hand. Even the developers care about this aspect, often when it is still in the development phase, in order to collect feedback and perhaps find some annoying bugs escaped in the final optimization phase.

Resident Evil Village Demo Over the last year alone we have seen several very important video game demos arrive on the digital stores. Resident Evil Village and Monster Hunter Rise have even had two distinct demos, Final Fantasy VII Remake and Dragon Quest XI among the JRPG games, Project Triangle which still does not have a real name, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity for Switch and finally Resident Evil 2 and 3. In addition to letting us try the gameplay pad in hand, these software also allow you to experience the game on a specific platform. For example, we can clarify the doubt whether Resident Evil Village can actually run on our computer, directly trying the demo and testing the various graphic options offered. In the same way, previewing a Cyberpunk 2077 on console would have allowed us to reveal in advance the problems caused by this version of the game.

Modern alternatives

Our Umberto and Vincenzo live on Twitch In the last decade, numerous alternatives to demos have arisen, through which we can see a game in action without necessarily having to buy it. Aside from the classic gameplay trailers and videos released directly by the developers (and therefore often created to perfection to highlight certain game elements), there is also a large community of people willing to share their gaming experience. We at Multiplayer, for example, in our previews and reviews try to illustrate as much as possible the experience offered by the proven title and describe the interaction with the player himself. Similarly, other youtubers and streamers go on to create similar content on different platforms, creating a large collection of feedback that is accessible to anyone.

Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade gameplay If you want to deepen your knowledge or other elements of a particular video game, you can find hundreds of reviews on the web, both textual and real video works made on YouTube. A few days after the launch of a video game we then find complete walkthroughs from the beginning to the end of the title with lots of guides, insights and many comments and opinions related to the quality of the title played. Thanks to live streaming it is also possible to interact in real time with the player who is testing the running software.

We at Multiplayer too answer your questions live on Twitch while we are trying the video games that have just been released, clarifying certain aspects and some doubts that were discovered in the review. Likewise, it is possible to find dozens of videos on technical analyzes related to the performance offered by the video game. Are you unsure whether or not the game can run with your configuration or video card? No problem. On YouTube, someone will surely have tried the game with at least a similar configuration in order to give you the requested feedback.

Official logo of the E3 event In the last year we have experienced a very special situation due to the global pandemic. Many events dedicated to the press of the gaming world have been canceled, while others have had to adapt by proposing digital shows that can be used by anyone. The fairs, the stands with the demos and the direct contact with the developers have made them miss in this 2020 and early 2021. This change will undoubtedly influence the organization of such events and fairs also in the years to come, because it could be achieved more people and offer a better experience for the mass audience through innovative digital solutions.

Among the most talked about is the possibility that demos of the various upcoming video games will be distributed for a limited period. While years ago we had to go to Los Angeles for E3 or to Cologne for Gamescom where we could touch the titles coming out in the following months, now there is the possibility that this happens directly remotely. Think if each of you could try the demo of the new Gran Turismo 7, Halo Infinite and maybe even Elden Ring, simply downloading it from the store during the days of the aforementioned events. Currently we do not have many confirmations in this regard, but certainly the organizers of videogame fairs are evaluating this option to keep players' interest in these events high.

What awaits us in the future

Xbox Game Pass Promotional Campaign Another increasingly present reality that will undoubtedly overshadow video game demos is services such as Game Pass. Through it it is possible to access many video games, also available at launch, simply by subscribing to a monthly subscription. The goal of the demos is to let us try the game before buying it, but finding the game for free included in our subscription would make the demo almost completely useless. Any player subscribed to the Game Pass will be able to download, for example, Halo Infinite at launch and try it for an unlimited time in its full version.

Similarly, gaming streaming services or other subscription services similar to Game Pass offer limited access to content. For example, EA Play allows you to access all the new video games produced by Electronic Arts for a maximum period of 10 hours, being able to try the full version of the title. Thanks to the immediacy of streaming gaming this experience could be further improved. By simply pressing a button it is already possible to start a video game without long waiting times due to downloads and updates. This makes certain video games truly accessible to anyone, even for a simple trial and then decide whether to buy them or not.

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