It’s long been the knowledge of game developers that demos benefit both the consumers and them, since it allows people to sample the gameplay before laying down their money. While the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 offer demos for many of their retail games, Nintendo has been more selective about rolling these out. With the current 3DS handheld, the Nintendo eShop has beefed up its selection of demos for some of their most popular titles. However, there is a noticeable catch. Most of the demos on offer can only be played a certain number of times, at which point the file will expire and be rendered unplayable. This is a practice that might irk some people, however the current standard of 30 plays does give us some leeway in experiencing what the game has to offer. If you’ve purchased a Wii U and are excited to demo some of the upcoming titles, Nintendo has confirmed that this “limited use” policy will continue.
One of the most notable demos that hit Nintendo’s platform is Rayman Legends, which a hotly anticipated title from Ubisoft that is set for retail release in February of 2013. The gameplay limit will be set to 30, with the player being referred to the eShop to purchase the game after this limit is breached. Since the file is tired to your Nintendo Network account, you will not be able to re-download the demo and start over. While this practice is currently limited to Nintendo platforms, the implementation of it actually depends on the publishers. According to a Nintendo spokesperson, the publisher can decide the gameplay limit and/or expiration time for any of their game demos. This bucks the trend that the competition have laid down, since demos on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 can be played an unlimited number of times. However, placing such limits on the amount of times one could play might compel others the purchase it. That’s the theory, anyway.
While this might be annoying to some, the practice is not completely without merit. The demo for a game is meant to be just that, a sampling to help you determine if said game is for you. Theoretically, one could easily make their decision within that 30 play limit, since playing that many times obviously means that you’ve found merit in the game. If the demo is not to your liking, the chances of you investing the time needed to exceed the limit is minimal. In short, having the demos available on the Wii U platform is a good thing, regardless of what restrictions are placed on them. If that short sampling of gameplay has won you over to that extent, then perhaps buying the full product is the next most logical step.