Nintendo, Your Restrictions On Demos Are Just Silly

Nintendo, Your Restrictions On Demos Are Just Silly

I downloaded the demo for The Wonderful 101 and was surprised to find this message pop up telling me that I would only be allowed to run the demo 20 times. Now, of course I don’t plan on playing a demo more than once or twice, as I’m sure most people don’t. Which is why I find it so odd that Nintendo would put this restriction in place.

If any game is good enough that I would play the demo more than 20 times, then I’ll be buying it to play the full experience before ever getting to that point.

There’s a theory that game demos actually hurt sales, but no evidence that having a demo and limiting its uses would be any different than a normal unlimited demo. So readers, have you ever played a demo more than 20 times? Have you ever gotten so much out of a demo that you never felt the need to buy the game?


  • Fighting game demos are the worst, restrict you to only one or two characters, and most times probably not the character that’d make you love the game
    The demo for Backbreaker was cool, the actual Football was a bit shit but Tackle Alley was awesome and 10 levels of that was fun, I played that demo HEAPS.

    • Fighting game demos were the first thing I thought of when I saw this post. I remember playing the Tekken 3 demo I got in the mail a heck of a lot.
      Back in the day when I was a poor teenager, the in-the-mail demo disks Sony sent out had me try a lot of franchises I might not have considered otherwise. Who knows, perhaps I wouldn’t have gone on to buy a PS2/3 if it wasn’t for them…

  • Never played a demo more than 20 times and for this particular game, didn’t play it for more than 5 minutes. Didn’t appeal to me at all and just seemed to be a button mashing version of Pikmin (unless I missed something???)

    Limiting demos does seem to be a waste of time, when the content is usually limited to one level or a certain time span within the game in the first place.

  • Back when we got a PS2, we actually only had the demos that came with the system to play. It took us another few months to get an actual game, but damn it was fun playing that SSX demo over and over, trying to beat each other’s scores or get the farthest within the time limit. That Wild Wild Racing demo though… that sucked balls.

        • Not necessarily. Sometimes games just demo badly. It can be difficult to take a vertical slice of a game and play it in isolation and enjoy it. A lot of companies refuse to do demos at all now because of how hard it is to do a good demo.

          Take an RPG for example. They often start quite slow, easing you into their systems and so on. JRPGs are notorious for this, you might need to sink 5+ hours in before things really get moving.

          Example: leading up to the release of Tales of Vesperia on the Xbox 360, Namco released a demo. They took a slice of the game from about 4 hours in. One area culminating in a boss battle. No explanation of where you were, what you were doing, who everyone was etc. No story hooks because they didn’t want to spoil anything. Everyone started under-leveled so the boss was stupidly hard. The demo sucked terribly and caused a lot of people at the time to write the game off, despite it being an excellent game, probably still the best in the franchise.

  • Back in the Manacomm/shareware days I played the demo version of One Must Fall 2044 to death, along with a range of other games including platformers like Halloween Harry and Duke Nukem 2.
    Nowadays I generally just get the full game.
    One game demo I feel is worth mentioning is the demo for Warcraft 3, which came out a month or two after the full game was released but offered levels which weren’t part of the full game and had some slightly different features. The story fit between the tutorial level and the full orc campaign and actually set the stage fo the expansion pack, which I felt was novel.

  • I bought The Cave on my Wii U after playing the demo. Can’t remember if it had a play limit, but only part of the game was available. When you got to the end, it displayed a brochure about the full game.

    Was totally not going to get it until I played that demo.

  • As much as limiting the amount of times a demo can be accessed sucks, timed demos are the real problem. I tired playing the new 3DS Zelda and Sonic games at PAX and just as I was getting the hang of things and experiencing the game… Sorry your time has expired. I know this could have just been because of it being an event show, but I see it with other demos on Nintendo and Sony games over the last few years.

  • Gamers are getting cheaper. You just need to look at the amount of effort some people will go to to keep playing games on Facebook for free instead of coughing up a few dollars. In the case of some games, such as pinball or puzzle games, I can see a lot of people replaying it over and over instead of paying. And if it meant getting 20 more free plays by downloading a few of the other companies demos they’d be doing that too.

  • Young children will play a demo 100 times and never get tired of it or even realize its a demo. I think Nintendo wants to be payed for babysitting (Note: do not use video games as childcare)

  • this isn’t really news…
    this has been there since the wiiu launched. and the 3ds has it too.

  • EHRMAGERD Steve welcome to 2012, this has been implemented since the first ever Wii U demo, good to know you’ve been keeping up with the times. If you need to play a demo 20 times, you obviously enjoy the game that much that you’d buy it anyhow.


    • But we’d like to be able to play said demo until the full game is released. Who could play a demo a limited amount of times, then go “Wow that was great…now to forget about this game for 2-3 months.”? Well, maybe some little kid. Case in point: the new DBZ Extreme Butoden demo has only 30 uses. It’s a fighting game. Players are going to be figuring out combos, resets and loops, and oh, no…you’re out of uses, so you can’t practice any of this till the game drops. Sorry you had to keep going back and forth between this demo and playing Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate! Between demo limits and region lockouts, it seems nintendo bashers are right about N being kiddy, cuz they’re treating us like friggin children.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!