One of the perks of owning an Xbox 360 is the ability to take in games without leaving the living room. Xbox Live Arcade features downloadable coin-op classics, addictive newcomers, and basic "match the colored blocks" puzzle games.
The heavyweight downloads, however, are the demos of full-priced games, designed to give users a free preview of what each title has to offer. Though the market for downloadable Xbox 360 demos is new, publishers seem to be picking up on the potential it offers. Just before New Year's, Activision's Quake 4 and Sega's Condemned joined the ranks of free samples, marking the first Xbox Live demo for both publishers.
One publisher that has really taken a shining to Xbox 360 demos is Electronic Arts. Samplings of Madden NFL 06, NBA Live 06, Need for Speed Most Wanted, and FIFA 06 are all available gratis, leaving Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 as the only current EA Xbox 360 game sans demo.
[UPDATE] However, it looks like a different as-yet-unreleased EA game is beating Tiger to the punch (pun intended). The Xbox 360 demo for Fight Night Round 3 is now up and available for free on Xbox Live Marketplace. The game isn't due to hit store shelves until next month.
This may not come as a surprise to all. Earlier today, the front page of Xbox.com highlighted Fight Night. The game's trailer featured on Xbox.com shows some familiar footage of Bernard Hopkins beating the tar out of Roy Jones Jr., but it's the end of the trailer that really knocked out some gamers. Underneath a listing of some of the game's features is the surprising, albeit blurry, text reading "Visit Xbox 360 Marketplace to download your demo today!"
The demo allows gamers to play as Bernard Hopkins or Roy Jones Jr. for a partial match. There are also two trailers for Fight Night Round 3, one at 480p and the other at 720p.