Sony And The Disappearing Demo

Demos as they stand are created by the developers for one purpose, to lure the consumer into making a full purchase of their newest game.  Often word of mouth is enough to convince you that buying is the way to go, but when you have the ability to play a good chunk of your intended purchase you’d be a fool not to.  Sometimes a demo is so long or so in depth that you go back and play it again and again.  Darksiders gained some press lately when word hit that they would be offering a 90 minute playable demo.  They believed in their product but for one reason or another, gamers just weren’t making the jump to purchase.

Up until now there has been a balance that seems to work, try the demo: buy the game.  Sony seems to disagree.  Instead of blaming ridiculously high software prices they seem to think that consumers aren’t plunking down their hard earned cash every time because they get enough entertainment out of their demos.

Enter the dissolving demo.  Siliconera recently discovered that Sony has filed a patent for a new way to experience your demo gameplay.  You will start with a near full game and then the longer you play; the more in-game features will become unavailable.  Like the ability to use a powerful weapon the first play through and then weaker and weaker ones in subsequent visits.  A racing game could initially give you full track options and slowly remove them until you have no option but to purchase the game and get them back. Whether it is less character choice or fewer environments to explore, muted sound effects or subtle environmental colors, Sony wants to make sure you just get a taste and then crave the full product.

(Via Gamespot)

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  • Bryan

    Interesting concept… but isn’t a basic time limit just easier?

  • Sony is trying to create gaming junkies…

  • UltimateSin

    That’s a very interesting concept. If they were do to this and make a full game playable as a demo but then subsequently take away levels or weapons, how big would the demo be?

  • That’s a very good question! You’d think that they would still have some sort of time limit implemented, otherwise why not just leave your console on until the end? If the game I play the first time around has muted sounds or colors I would have no way of knowing the difference. I would just assume from the start that they made a sub-par game.

  • Haha Thanks Steve! Here’s hoping it goes somewhere eventually 😉