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Nems

Like playing demos before deciding to buy a game? Sony says "Fuck you".

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Well, that's what they seem to be implying by patenting a demo that "erodes" over time.

http://www.gamespot.com/news/6253022.html

The filing reads, "While a user may initially experience most or all of the full version of the game in a demonstration mode, the mode implements trigger metrics to erode game play characteristics, such as character, object, event and/or environmental features, during video game play in the demonstration mode." (Emphasis added)


While I don't do regular demo downloading (I use other means to decide whether or not to buy a game) and I do own a PS3, this pisses me off. I don't exactly have money to burn to purchase a new game to decide whether or not it's a keeper. I'm pretty sure most people don't have that kind of money to burn.

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i hate it when companies get greedy like this and they think that they're going to make money by taking usage rights away from the end user.

it doesn't work very well, either. just ask the RIAA

Why doesn't sony just sell those jampack disks they used to sell for like four dollars? i used to love those! you got like twelve demo versions, some cool videos, ect, and the best part is that it was cheap. if sony somehow implemented that digitally, or jut offered a ps3 variation of Jampack, that would make them a pretty good sum of money

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This has just heavily cracked what respect I had for sony, being with them since the PS1.

It was almost expected, though. the gaming industry is being milked more and more recently (games like COD and halo make what is basically an expansion pack and market it as "OMG A BRAND NEW COD!!!1") and the Wii making you buy countless extra peripherals to play newer games, and making you pay for your old favorites again, even if you still own the original cartridge)

The best demos i have played which made me WANT to buy the game were Burnout Paradise (gives you a whole section of the city, a car, a few races and even online capabilities and let you play with that for as long as you wanted), and Doom (you should know what this demo does). loads of other games which stop the game after 5 minutes of play just piss me off and make me NOT want to buy the game. an eroding demo would be the same, but probably even more painful.

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i don't see their logic behind it. would they rather piss the end user off ALL AT ONCE or just piss them off little by little until they get infuriated and all notions of buying the full game go out the window?

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[compactSprue] said:
i hate it when companies get greedy like this and they think that they're going to make money by taking usage rights away from the end user.


What "rights" do you have when it comes to downloadable software on a free, Sony run service?

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This doesn't matter for me. For example the last games that came out were pure disappointments: Crysis, Turok, Far Cry 2 and so on. I'm waiting for a game like Doom 3 or Half Life 2 or Counter Strike Source!... and if you really want to try out a game, there is also something like this everytime: (for example for Turok type in "Turok ingame" and search something for gameplay ["Turok gameplay 1" in this case])
youtube. You can see that it smells like "Quake 4".

I played demos of dos games, because I didn't know how to get the original version, but other than that I can't remember needing demos. For example: it should be clear that Starcraft 2 will be an amazing game, because I saw many trailers and ingame scenes on youtube.

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"The filing reads, "While a user may initially experience most or all of the full version of the game in a demonstration mode, the mode implements trigger metrics to erode game play characteristics, such as character, object, event and/or environmental features, during video game play in the demonstration mode." (Emphasis added"

That's the biggest pile of bullshit I've ever read (not including including any of my own posts mind you). It sounds like they don't want people to see how badly a game is going to suck before they waste their hard earned money on it. Esp. now that game prices are steadily increasing. Arkham Asylum is STILL like $50 ><.

A demo is why people buy the game in the first place. If they think it erodes over time experience wise they're just retarded. I own countless demo discs for the PS1 that I still enjoy, and I'm sure that many here had kept the Doom 95 demo for ages before buying the game.

Also, and a tad unrelated, but I hate how it seems that games are now becoming less like games and more like shitty interactive Hollywood movies. What happened to ingenuity and not copying off everything that's popular?

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StevieCybernetik said:

Also, and a tad unrelated, but I hate how it seems that games are now becoming less like games and more like shitty interactive Hollywood movies. What happened to ingenuity and not copying off everything that's popular?



They need a 'safe' formula to minimize risk. Innovation is by definition risky so the suits don't like it. What if the audience does not like the new ideas? This is the stuff of executives' nightmares.

And it seems to work to a degree because the intended audience are apparently idiots.

It's just like horror movies. No matter what comes out, it's always dumb as hell, always uses the same scares and twists and nearly always is atrociously bad. But some people still watch this garbage. Games are on a direct path into the same business model.

Of course this shit will be forgotten 6 months after release and never generate any long term revenue so the only way to market it is to fool the unsuspecting customers about the badness of the product.

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Non-news. Aren't demos supposed to be more or less limited compared to the full game? (Even less so than older shareware titles?)

When shareware and "commercial" demos coexisted, the main difference was that demos were much shorter, only including a tiny fraction of an actual level or even just a specially crafted level for demonstration purposes, usually very limited compared to the full game to begin with. Sometimes demos were actually betas or alphas of a game (e.g. Bullfrog released a short demo of Magic Carpet based on an alpha of their engine) And finally, demos received very limited tech support and updates, and some even had date checks for "expiration", or a very short playing time, like 1 minute.

Also, demos weren't necessarily playable: they could be just a static slideshow or video, whereas the "playable demo" became mainstream only after shareware's success (which however went into oblivion).

OTOH a shareware title usually included a good portion of the full game (e.g. Doom included 1/3rd of the full game, other titles had 1 episode out of 3, 4 or 5 too) and was supported and patched just as much as the full game, and was always fully playable within its contents' limitations. Again, non-news.

I recalled OTOH that tiiiime ago some companies had considered stopping releasing demos altogether (first time I heard of this was 1996, but it must have come afloat some more after that, like a turd that won't flush).

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Looks like Sony have found a new use for FADE.

Ralphis said:

What did you do before games had demos?

Back in the C64 days I demoed games by played pirated copies. If I liked a game I'd keep an eye out for the original (some I still haven't found after 25+ years, that's one of the drawbacks of living in a backwater like Hobart) those I didn't like were traded for other games. I didn't encounter demos on a regular basis until I moved on to the Amiga.

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StevieCybernetik said:

Also, and a tad unrelated, but I hate how it seems that games are now becoming less like games and more like shitty interactive Hollywood movies. What happened to ingenuity and not copying off everything that's popular?


They tried to pull that shit off several times in the past too:

Laserdisc games (too fucking expensive, only for arcades)
Action Max games ("laserdisc" games degraded to VHS, minus the interactivity)
Sega CD games (many were Action Max/laserdisc leftovers)
FMV games on the PC/Mac/CD-i/3DO in the mid 90s (massive failures, very few managed to find a balance between "videogame" and "movie you sit on your couch and watch").

I suspect that this OnLive "cloud computing gaming" shit will also include such titles or will mainly consist of such titles, giving us another shitty comeback of "FMV" and "interactive movies". *barf*

Ralphis said:

What did you do before games had demos?


Back in the oooolden days there was something called "getting a game from a friend", "being suggested a game from a friend", "playing that cool game every other kid had" or just "reading reviews in magazines". Yeah, and we did copy that floppy. Many times over.

Also, the "best" games sometimes were just ports of games you played at arcades (but you had to be certain that the conversion from the coin-op was decent).

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I'm not offended by this at all. I usually only play demos once to see what I think about the game anyways, and then I uninstall it because it takes up space on my tiny harddrive. By the time the demo has "eroded", you'll probably have decided whether you're gonna spend the hefty 60$ on it or not. Demos are so short nowadays that I can't imagine getting any enjoyment out of playing them over and over (except for that Darksiders demo, I still haven't bothered to finish that).

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Seems to me like a totally legit way to give people a sample of what they could have. Now, if they were doing this with full versions and extorting more and more money, then you've got yourself a lawsuit, and possibly a pitchfork-and-torch-wielding mob.

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The real WTF is all the corporate buzzwords, euphemisms and capitalist yuppie scum technobabble they used to describe this "new and exciting technology", and the amount of PR effort they put into making it appear as something new, productive, desirable, and outright positive.

It's almost an extreme liberal's capitalist wet dream coming true, almost like a textbook case of how "the way of things to come" should be promoted/pimped/PR'ed.

However the other (probably more major) WTF, is that almost everybody here seems to be missing the fact they plan on changing the distribution model entirely: by reading the article carefully, they are stating that they plan on discontinuing standalone demos that are a subset of the full game. It's the good old small, standalone demo that's "dying", not the concept of demoing games in general.

Instead , they will sort of distribute the full (or an "almost full") version of the game with "locked" features, which will be "intelligently" unlocked upon purchase (remotely? Will additional data be downloaded? Maybe stores will sell a small patch disc in a box instead of a full standalone game?)

Conceptually, this would spare the devs the effort of developing and maintaining a demo and a full branch of the game, and diminishing technical differences between them (in the past, there could be major codebase, data and filesystem differences between the demo and the full version).

Pretty much like e.g. Windows Vista and 7 discs are all exactly the same, feature wise, but your registration key determines which features and version you'll be able to install.

So actually this is a convenience for devs and distributors alike. The only "problem" for consumers will be that, if only full or "almost full" versions are distributed as "metric-triggered demos" , then downloads will be larger than ever before. There should be no difference, gameplay-wise, between a stand-alone small demo and a "locked" full game, so that's a moot point.

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caco_killer said:

Why can't developers just make short demos like they always do instead of stupid timed crap like this?


See my lengthy post above. Probably some CEO/organizational genius felt that this was a good way to unify demo/full game code and data bases and bring games towards a more "distributed DRM" model. With that in mind, standalone short demos just don't cut it anymore. I don't know if the push was mainly from management or developers though (I say the former, but some high-ranking dev may have had his part in this too).

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Ralphis said:

What did you do before games had demos?

Blockbusters

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Maes said:

However the other (probably more major) WTF, is that almost everybody here seems to be missing the fact they plan on changing the distribution model entirely: by reading the article carefully, they are stating that they plan on discontinuing standalone demos that are a subset of the full game. It's the good old small, standalone demo that's "dying", not the concept of demoing games in general.


Well if Sony's competitors stick to the standalone demo model, and if that is what consumers want, then it stands to reason that Sony will be losing market share. If, however, this new model proves valuable and wanted, well then God bless them for trying something new.

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caco_killer said:

Why can't developers just make short demos like they always do instead of stupid timed crap like this?

Today's games are so damn short, a proper demo would be like half the game :P

I don't really care for what the big companies do. I got Doom, I got WoW, soonish there will be SC2. Then there are very nice and cheap Indie games I can easily get from Steam.

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Ichor said:

Blockbusters


That's mostly my point. You can still rent retail games at blockbuster, hollywood video, etc so I don't see what the big deal is. Anyone that uses this as a justifiable reason to pirate games is a dummy

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Ralphis said:

That's mostly my point. You can still rent retail games at blockbuster, hollywood video, etc so I don't see what the big deal is. Anyone that uses this as a justifiable reason to pirate games is a Kagemaru



Fix'd

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Patrick said:

and they wonder why people pirate games

Games have to be worthwhile to pirate.

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What did you do before games had demos?


I started gaming in the late 1980s and there were already demos (and, much better, sharewares) for games. Regardless of how long you've been playing video games, I'd argue more than two decades of having demos for games is enough to establish a standard.

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boris said:

Today's games are so damn short, a proper demo would be like half the game :P

I don't really care for what the big companies do. I got Doom, I got WoW, soonish there will be SC2. Then there are very nice and cheap Indie games I can easily get from Steam.


I don't know what games you play, but modern games these days are pretty damn long, to the point where 10 hours is considered a very short game. It's pretty hard to find a DOS game that lasted 10 hours and wasn't an RPG. Doom takes around 4 hours for a decent gamer, Descent 5-8, many platformers and shmups 2 hours or less. Nowadays you can take home a game and it will drag on and on for 20, 30, even 40 hours (if it's an RPG, more like 100, and if it's a Total War game you will be on Social Security by the time you finish the campaign). Granted, much of it is padding, but modern games take a long-ass time to finish nevertheless.

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I can gauge quality just fine through gameplay videos, and I also still rent games. 'Haven't downloaded a demo since FEAR, so whatever.

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Phml said:

I started gaming in the late 1980s and there were already demos (and, much better, sharewares) for games. Regardless of how long you've been playing video games, I'd argue more than two decades of having demos for games is enough to establish a standard.


Alright but this standard was established mostly on PCs. This post is about demos on a PS3. You would rarely see demos for NES, SNES, Genesis, Turbo GFX, N64, etc. The only console until the newer generation to really push demos was the PS1, where demo discs tapered off the further it went into its life cycle. Until the 360 and PS3, console game demos were few and far between.

Rent the game from netflix or a local chain store or something, borrow it from a friend, or something other if you're going to cry about some DEMO of a game. The point of a demo is to demo a game and I'm sure that you'll still get this with whatever this patent is (if it's ever even used). If it still bothers you that much, don't buy the game.

Seriously, not a big deal at all! The end

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Ralphis said:

Anyone that uses this as a justifiable reason to pirate games is a dummy


Only reasons to really pirate something is if:

A) The price tag is so crazy that the company basically deserves it (*COUGH ADOBE COUGH*)

B) It never actually existed in a format you can buy/hasn't been around for a long time and Ebay is dry. Mostly like arcade game ports and stuff, or different emulators - I can't tell you how long I looked for Mario: Legend of the Seven Stars before giving up and just finding a half-way decent rom of the damn thing.

If you're seriously pirating new games like COD or Left 4 Dead and whatnot... well that's just being cheap =/

Ontopic: I do betas, not demos, so this really won't affect me. The only game I ever demoed was Doom shareware.

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