With the Dead Rising 3 demo arriving today, Xbox One demos are finally beginning to arrive, allowing buyers to experience more than a few next-generation games for absolutely free.
Microsoft’s Larry Hyrb announced that the demo of Dead Rising 3 hard arrived in the Xbox Game Store this morning, telling users to head to the “New Game Demos” section to begin the download. To be clear, the game isn’t new, Dead Rising 3 arrived on store shelves with the Xbox One back on November 22nd.
Really, the big news is that the Xbox One’s Demo area is finally starting to fill out. Originally the Xbox One launched without a single demo for users to play, forcing many buyers to pay $60 for games that they may not have had a lot of time to try out in video game stores. In fact, the Xbox One Game Store lacked a demos area until about a week ago. Unlike the Xbox 360, the Xbox One doesn’t come with any free games out of the box, forcing gamers to pick up unproven titles with the console.
Essentially, demos are free games that allow users to trial a title before purchasing it. They’re particularly useful for game developers who need to test their servers or who want to build hype for an upcoming new franchise.
Early on, some users and industry watchers indicated that the drought in demos was caused by a policy change from Microsoft itself, however Hyrb himself clarified Microsoft’s stance on Xbox One demos to Polygon saying, “It is (and always has been) up to game developers to do demos for their own games. They’ll be more demos for Xbox One as the platform goes forward.”
The confusion seems to stem from the way Microsoft handled digital titles on the Xbox 360 as compared to the Xbox One. The Xbox 360 designated some titles as Xbox Live Arcade Games. Each Xbox Live Arcade was a digital-only title that Microsoft required developers to include demos for. Microsoft broke down the wall between Xbox Live Arcade and other titles for the Xbox One. Instead, all games are treated the same way, meaning developers don’t necessarily have to make a demo available to users if they don’t want to.
The Xbox Game Store now boasts demos for Zumba Fitness: World Party, FIFA 14, NBA Live 14 and Kinect Sports Rivals. Users can access these titles from the Xbox One’s Store app.