The Xbox One demos have been a little thin on the ground so far, but Microsoft maintains it hasn’t changed its policies.
Microsoft has confirmed that it still supports game demos on the Xbox One, but says it is up to developers to release them to gamers.
The Xbox demos policy hasn’t changed on the Xbox One, but it develops have the final say as to whether their games have demos.
“It is (and always has been) up to game developers to do demos for their own games,” said Larry Hyrb, Xbox Live’s Director of Programming. “There’ll be more demos for Xbox One as the platform goes forward.”
So far, the amount of Xbox One demos available via Xbox Live has been a little scarce, causing frustrated gamers to lash out on gaming forums.
Some thought that Microsoft may have changed its Xbox One demo policies, especially highlighting that “one of the best features of the 360 is that every game in the store had a demo.”
Back in September, Microsoft said it would not be requiring all Xbox Live Arcade developers to release game demos, as it did on the Xbox 360.
However, it did say that it would be introducing different ways for Xbox One gamers to take games out for a test run.
“Not all [digital] games will have demos like Xbox Live Arcade games have had on Xbox 360,” said Marc Whitten, Corporate Vice President of Xbox. “That said, we are going to work on lots of ways to make it easy for you to find and try new games on the service.”
It could well be that Microsoft is feeling the effects of the popularity of free-to-play console games, especially as they are essentially extended game trials. You just have to incrementally pay to unlock additional content chunks.
Developers have always been wary of creating dame demos as they are expensive to produce, and one industry figure suggests demos actually cut game sales in half.
It’s important to remember that the Xbox One demos don’t actually appear on the Xbox Live storefront, you have to manually search for them via the built-in Bing service on the console.