Why are there so few Xbox One demos?

Microsoft says it is up to developers to create demos for their games, pledges that more trials are coming "as the platform goes forward."

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On Xbox 360, all Xbox Live Arcade games were required to have demos, but Microsoft dropped this policy for the Xbox One. A fan asked Microsoft's Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb recently why the company changed its thinking, and he responded by saying demos are up to developers to create.

"It is (and always has been) up to game developers to do demos for their own games," he said in the comments section of his blog. "[There will] be more demos for Xbox One as the platform goes forward." No timetable was provided.

On Xbox One, all games are grouped together. The digital marketplace does not make distinctions between indie titles or games on demand titles. "All games are treated equally," Xbox chief Marc Whitten told GameSpot in August.

In September, Whitten revealed that not all Xbox One games would have demos like Xbox Live Arcade titles had on Xbox 360. "That said, we are going to work on lots of ways to make it easy for you to find and try new games on the service," he said at the time.

In fact, just five of the 26 available Xbox One titles has a demo. These are FIFA 14, Zoo Tycoon, NBA Live 14, and Zumba Fitness World Party (in addition to a demo for the currently unreleased Kinect Sports Rivals). In addition, while not exactly "demos" per se, games like Killer Instinct (the "world's most generous demo," according to Microsoft) and Xbox Fitness are free-to-play.

If developers are indeed deciding to cut back on game demos, it could be to save money. Designer and games academic Jesse Schell said during the DICE 2013 Summit this year, citing data from the NPD Group, that releasing demos can cut game sales in half.

Discussion

344 comments
BorgMind00
BorgMind00

In all fairness, the story is exactly the same on the PS4. I was hoping both systems would have more demos available so I could decide which games to pick up for which systems, but that is sadly not the case. The truth is, there aren't many available titles right now so developers don't have to give an incentive to buy their title right now.

GH05T-666
GH05T-666

Peggle 2 and Killer Instinct are the only 2 half decent games on xbox one at the moment :(

Pyrosa
Pyrosa

Demos kill sales -- but for good reasons.  I've played the demo for easily 70+% of the XBLA titles, but only bought 1/3 of those.  Sometimes it wasn't even because the game was "bad"; it was more of the concept of "that was okay, but not something I'd spend more than an hour on."


So the good/bad news for developers is that FAR fewer people will experience their creations, however their lack of investment will save them money in the short term.


Seems to me that a wise strategy/schedule would go something like this:

-Release full game.

-Build first patch. (...a necessary evil these days)

-Build timed/limited demo several weeks later.


At least you maximize your core target audience in the first several weeks, then try to expand that audience later.

arqe
arqe

Microsoft ! How dare you remove "Demo's that Developers Created" from Xbox Live !

Oh Wait ...

Carpetfluff
Carpetfluff

To be fair there's barely any demos on the PS4 marketplace either, but I think, at least as far as the XBLA type stuff goes, people have come to expect to have a chance to taste before they pay, so it will impact sales where it doesn't happen; especially on titles people don't know about but would take a chance on the demo to see what it's all about.

carolino
carolino

quantum break game play released


best 4,5 seconds ever


lol

DarkSaber2k
DarkSaber2k

Because people would realise the games are shit and not buy them. Simple.

electroban
electroban

Why is eddie making articles that people already know the answer to?


stick to troll baiting mate.

Kinguard73
Kinguard73

People can say it's because then people will know the games are in 720 or look bad or what not but even if I am on the PS4 bandwagon few demos is NOT a bloody big deal. They choose their system and it's not like the games are pure poo even if it's in 720.

What concerns me is a multifunctional platform like the Xbox one needs ram and processing to run all this stuff in the background smoothly. When both systems become optimized will the PS4 seriously pull ahead due to a lack of excess? Is a PURE gaming system actually a better system in the end overall?

chyll
chyll

developers stopped doing demos since playing the demo is like playing 50 to 80% of the game.

OOLuigiOo
OOLuigiOo

It's because the xbox fanboys touch themselves at night...

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

Game demos can cut game sales in half?

If that isn't a correlation to games getting crappier every year I don't know what is.

That will only be because people play the demo and realise the game is basically a linear set of corridors with bland gameplay and no story so they decide not to buy it at all.

If someone buys a game and then finds it shit normally unless you are a speed runner the warranty will have run out for you to return it in full so you will have no choice but to just trade it in. Which doesn't count towards the overall sales.

Overall the moral of the story is bring out good games and you won't end up with shit sales.

sinthytech
sinthytech

Because there are so few games. 

blackace
blackace

It was nice having demos for every XBox 360 game. It was better to try before you buy because you didn't know if the game would be good otherwise. Since there's no refund, demos were a must have. Without demos, I won't be buying as many Indie games as I did with XBLA. I have a ton of them. Most of them a very good games.

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

This close to launch, I'd rather have developers finishing and polishing games than trying to put together a demo.

streamline
streamline

Gamespot, stop calling him "Major Nelson."

JPL1982
JPL1982

When you have over 100 platinum trophies on PSN, YOU DON'T CARE about Xbox Live and Xbox One.

When you have over 100000G of gamerscore on Xbox Live, YOU DON'T CARE about PSN and PS4.

That's my opinion, why don't shut up with the "console battle" between the two consoles ? Ha yes...my 2009 gaming rig PC is better than the two consoles, who cares ?? ... I loved GFWL by the way.

Ladiesman17
Ladiesman17

Because games you purchase were already a demo. 

You'll get "full games" criteria, if you purchase all the remaining DLCs.

iceman4601
iceman4601

I love how everyone is so paranoid about the Kinect bar listening to you when not in use. because we all know that the government is listening to you do your Xbox because only terrorists are going to buy the Xbox 1 and obviously discuss all their plans around it. Your cell phone does it better Than the Xbox ever will. also I don't understand why everyone feels the need to defend their particular preference of box on every website forum across the entire Internet. It's not like you're getting anything for backing up these multi billion dollar companies. Get over it already buy the console that you want and shut up about it. everyone is quick to point out the defaults of the opposite camps box but never wants to admit the fault of their own. You defend its so fervently that you would think you're just trying to justify your own purchase so that little nagging feeling of buyers remorse will go away, neither box has very strong release titles and neither box is without faults. you can't win the Internet by defending your choices, if you want superior graphics an awesome games then go buy a PC then plug into your TV with an HDMI cable and use the controller of your choice to play any game you want.

GSGuy321
GSGuy321

If your game is crap, a demo will hurt sales. If your game is good, a demo will help sales.

Most games nowadays are crap.

nhowell14
nhowell14

Am I the only one who misses the days of just getting a demo disk? Usually for free or with a console purchase. The Psone/2 days were awesome about that. It actually opened my eyes to a few games I wouldn't have even given a second glance. Now I'm selective cause you have to consider waiting on the download and HDD space....

wowwow27
wowwow27

@BorgMind00 cause you wouldn't buy the first wave title if you played it. launch titles usually suck, but I'm sure psn will offer some of their titles free next year.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@Pyrosa That sounds like a good plan. Just like price drops and goty editions can get people to buy a game later on, so can demos. The whole "sales cut in half because of demos" claim is just one of many cases where cause and effect are incorrectly determined. Bad movies and games usually don't let anyone experience them until they're released and so they can fool people into buying them for a limited time until the word gets out. The word gets out much sooner nowadays if a game is bad, but I guess it's still a working strategy.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@OOLuigiOo No, it's because trolls write stuff in comment sections that are completely irrelevant to the article.

sharkythepigeon
sharkythepigeon

@ferretshob They're not pre-installed or given their own section, try searching for the listed titles in the store and the downloadable demo should appear in the results.

Kinguard73
Kinguard73

@Dannystaples14 My demo is after it's out and I see the review AND it's game play. If they are too scared to post a demo maybe it's because the game does indeed sux. Not always the case but just saying.

Kinguard73
Kinguard73

@JPL1982 Who'd waste that kind of money on a modern gaming PC rig? We got a life. It's nice to have more options then building a rig. Stream might have the answer. Either way I hope the PC gaming days are on their last legs quite honestly. Especially that most that supports PC gaming also just as likely supports hacks and piracy.... Yes, I know I will get flamed just know before hand whatever you say will amuse me to know end. Like pulling on a puppets string...

ne0182
ne0182

@Ladiesman17 you're way ahead, we got some pretty good beta's and a full game may come soon^^

ne0182
ne0182

@GSGuy321 good that your post is short enough that there's no need for a demo ;)

ferretshob
ferretshob

The only demo that comes up after going through all of the games is NBA Live 14 and don't care for it. However after the new patch update there is a new section Popular Demos and there are only four. Free games are not demos. This is weird though, if you go into new releases and click on Zoo Tycoon it will ask you to pay for it with no demo option. However if you go to Popular demos then you can get the demo. Doesn't seem right. Here is another one. Zumba fitness (not that I want it) does not even exist on my console even when I do a search for it xbox can't find it. So no demo for that either.

DarkSaber2k
DarkSaber2k

I think you need to re-check the definition of "refuted". Because you didn't do that at all. You threw up a non-sequiter that in no way addressed his point, instead choosing to point and go "What's that over there, a three-headed monkey?"

streamline
streamline

That's fine with me. Just don't call me <first name> "streamline" <last name>. Gamespot/Eddie always bring it up once in the beginning as if it helps us know who this guy is, but never use it as a nickname/handle in their articles. What's the point? It ends up sounding as annoying a someone in their 40s using teenage slang to sound cool.

arqe
arqe

@Kinguard73 @JPL1982 is it 80's again ? PC gaming dying. yeah right. say that 30 more years and maybe PC starts to get less games than consoles.

Or maybe after 30 years of no games on PC , the game numbers on "Consoles Together" can get more than PC.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@ne0182@GSGuy321 Good that his display of common sense isn't demo-lished by others who lack sense.

nhowell14
nhowell14

I think my point flew over your melon there buddy

Kinguard73
Kinguard73

@maniacalpoet @wolfyrabbit You should be arrested and raped in jail for that comment alone. yeah what I said is still no where near as horrible as your misplaced statement.

Sevenizz
Sevenizz

Oh, to be...wait, I've never been retarded.

nhowell14
nhowell14

No seriously the xbone was kind of doomed from the get go.

limbo12
limbo12

@maniacalpoet @DarkSaber2k if the best you can do with an IQ of 227 is post lame comments on this lame gaming website, then that's is very, very depressing.

DarkSaber2k
DarkSaber2k

*pats maniacalpoet on the head*

Sure buddy, whatever your mommy says.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@Kinguard73@arqe@JPL1982 Yes, you're even better than Bela Lugosi in the movie Ed Wood at pulling the strings: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-8j8c7iL3E


I have more PC games to play than I can manage, it's a terrible fate indeed, and I bought them all super cheap. I got my current computer quite cheap as well, because I didn't care about getting the latest hardware. PC gaming might be smaller than the consoles, but I prefer quality over quantity.

Kinguard73
Kinguard73

@arqe @Kinguard73 @JPL1982 Oh dear, someone is upset. =) If GTAV stated anything that there is FAR more people willing and able to purchase a console game over something they have to build themselves. Sure the rig is more potent surely IF you spend the money on it but why bother? You few are the only ones who care. You just sound like some Hack Pirate who hugs his PC and his tasty free games he stole from others then hack and calls himself skilled.


But I was right. You do amuse me. Least I found one whom strings I can pull easily.

Sevenizz
Sevenizz

I bet you think Carrot Top is a laugh riot...

Kinguard73
Kinguard73

@nhowell14 You'd think right? I mean all the bad press.. all the stuff pointing out the PS4 is a cheaper yet more potent of the two for more reasons than one not to mention the Kenect a great many Xbox One users could not care less about... I just think there are too many lemmings running among humans


Sevenizz
Sevenizz

Because Sony is a charity?

Gran Tourismo micro transactions - think about it...

Sevenizz
Sevenizz

Let me guess, PSN down again?