Nintendo may be ditching demos for the 3DS

Platform holder wants to bypass proven way of encouraging players to buy...

Nintendo may be ditching demos for the 3DS
23rd March, 2011 By Sarah Morris

Thanks to the Nintendo 3DS' SpotPass functionality, the new handheld console has the ability to download demos, and other add-ons while you sleep over a WiFi connection - something that had us very excited indeed. In fact, when the 3DS was merely a glimmer in Nintendo's eye, a demo service was pretty much confirmed - but now it would appear that Nintendo have had something of a change of heart? Producer Hideki Konno isn't convinced that demos are all that effective when it comes to persuading people to shell out for the full game:

"I question whether or not demos are effective... There are cases where people play a demo game and they're satisfied with that play experience and they don't buy the game... There are also times when they play a demo and think, 'Wow, this is great, I'm going to buy this when I have the chance.' So whether or not it's an effective use of resources, I'm not sure."

Now, I disagree here - ever since the Wii Shop channel started releasing demos, my spending has known no bounds, with me purchasing Jett Rocket, Hydroventure and Dive: The Mendes Islands Secret - some of which I either didn't know existed or didn't think I'd like. There's a fair few I plan on getting in the future too (Furry Legends and Art of Balance, for example), on the strength of the demos I've tried. Generally speaking, I find it a much harder decision to drop 1000 Wii Points (about £7.00) plus on a game I don't really know that much about - yes, I might be able to go and find a review, ask someone or watch a YouTube video, but it's always nice to be able to take something for a whirl yourself.

I never thought I'd like Dive: The Medes Islands Secret, having a fear of deep water - but I bought it based on the demo, and it's probably one of my favourite WiiWare games I've bought so far.

If you look at Nintendo's competitor, Microsoft, you'll find that they offer demos of every single Xbox Live Arcade Game on the marketplace. I don't think it's a coincidence that I own four or five times the number of downloadable games on there than I have on the Wii - and it's not just because I've had an Xbox for longer either. Plenty of them were bought on the strength of a decent demo.In other words, if Nintendo wants people like me (and I'm sure there are plenty) to buy games from its download store, demos shouldn't be an option - they should be essential. Perhaps if we ask really nicely, they'll reconsider.

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