The age-old gaming delight of demos may be coming back thanks to PlayStation, but not in the way you remember. In a new move, PlayStation game demos will return, but they’ll be part of a tiered system that determines how much you can play.
In a recent patent, PlayStation revealed ways in which it can tier access to new video game demos. The patent claims that the release of modern demos will help developers to retain more users in the future.
PlayStation’s patent details a system that determines what type of gamer you are and how much of a game you will be up for playing. This system will then create a block of content to entice you into the game, allowing a certain amount of game time to get maximum satisfaction from you.
The patent claims that the system will identify the likes and dislikes of each player, learning how they play to push them towards buying more games. At optimal moments, the system will be able to tell players to buy the full title.
Sony’s patent describes the system as “interrupting the interactive gaming application at a predetermined length of gameplay, wherein the predetermined length of gameplay is associated with the access tier of the user, and providing a purchase prompt to the user device.”
Currently, video game demos are created by developers, taking up resources that could go towards the final product. After all, creating a virtual slice of even an almost finished title still takes time and effort. However, demos are an excellent marketing tool. For example, many gamers were finally sold on Final Fantasy XVI following the game’s lengthy demo.
On the other hand, numerous games have also had issues with game demos. Infamously, Saints Row 2 on the Xbox 360 had an easily exploitable bug that gave demo players access to the game’s entire map. A similar thing happened with the PS4 Yakuza 6, which accidentally gave fans access to the entire game.
Nevertheless, demos are a staple of the games industry. From demo disks to downloadable trials, nothing is better marketing than a handcrafted demo to play through. Unfortunately, PlayStation’s patent demo absolutely stinks.