Nintendo Misses the Point of WiiWare Demos

Nintendo Misses the Point of WiiWare Demos

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Nintendo is re-implementing demos for WiiWare games, but their limitations are baffling.

Nintendo began uploading demos of certain titles available on its WiiWare digital download service last year, finally catching up to its competitors, but Nintendo removed them in January. Nintendo is smartly re-enabling WiiWare demos, but once again with limitations that make me wonder if Nintendo understands their purpose.

Successful digital download services like Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network both have robust demo systems that allow users to try games before they buy them. XBLA even goes so far as to implement trials for every single release on the service, which arguably increases purchases made. Searching for games to buy on WiiWare can be tough at times, because it's hard to buy a game based on just a description and screenshots.

On November 22, Nintendo will release demos for WiiWare's BIT.TRIP FATE, And Yet It Moves, ThruSpace and Jett Rocket. It's a good start, but Nintendo says that these demos will only be available for a limited time. New demos will regularly be added on Mondays, but again, only for a limited time.

Nintendo itself says that demos "allow people to sample a wide selection of games to help them decide which ones best suit their tastes," but apparently doesn't want to enable them permanently. When demos were uploaded to WiiWare last year, the sales of the titles they gave a taste of improved. Maybe I'm missing something, but it seems like if more demos were available Nintendo and WiiWare developers would only make more money, unless Nintendo doesn't want to let people know what's crap and what's worth buying. There are some real gems on WiiWare, like Cave Story and World of Goo, but I don't see how it would hurt to give buyers a little help to realize they want to take the plunge.

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Nintendo has always liked to keep an iron grip on things (proprietary storage systems, etc.) so I'm not surprised.

Since the vast majority of Wii titles are garbage, would it really make sense for Nintendo to host demos of them at their own expense?

Evil or not, caveat emptor seems like a better policy than letting the customer know if a certain game is good or not.

I can't see the benefit to Nintendo to put a limit like this on demos.

Of course Nintendo missed the point.

They're currently in the generation that PS2 and Xboxs had hung out in, where demos only really came from rentals, or if you're lucky, Playstation Underground disks, where online was niche for one, and mandatory for the other (resulting in a rather creepy, fugly baby for the Wii), and no real voice chat (besides the xbox, but thats only half of the Generation equation).

Expect the Wii-2 to have HD-DVD format disks, real ($10 a month) online play without friend codes or bloody work-arounds made by the developers, actual voice chat, true demos.

But we'll still be annoyed since the PS4 and XSphere will support free online play, holographic controllers projected from a pair of gloves that work for any console that isn't the Wii-2 (because nintendo thought their PS3-Xbox 360 controller ripoff was too good). And holographic based disk media that makes the Wii-2 disks look like something for the Commodore 64.

cursedseishi:
Of course Nintendo missed the point.

They're currently in the generation that PS2 and Xboxs had hung out in, where demos only really came from rentals, or if you're lucky, Playstation Underground disks, where online was niche for one, and mandatory for the other (resulting in a rather creepy, fugly baby for the Wii), and no real voice chat (besides the xbox, but thats only half of the Generation equation).

Expect the Wii-2 to have HD-DVD format disks, real ($10 a month) online play without friend codes or bloody work-arounds made by the developers, actual voice chat, true demos.

But we'll still be annoyed since the PS4 and XSphere will support free online play, holographic controllers projected from a pair of gloves that work for any console that isn't the Wii-2 (because nintendo thought their PS3-Xbox 360 controller ripoff was too good). And holographic based disk media that makes the Wii-2 disks look like something for the Commodore 64.

We get that you love Nintendo but HD-DVD?

Wow seriously? I didn't think they would actually be that stupid. Nintendo's always been a bit slow though.

Wasn't Nintendo doing Digital Distribution in SNES days, in Japan?

Their logic is probably that some people will like the demo, but the demo will be so good they don't bother to buy the actual game - but they will when they can't play the demo any longer.

However, I don't think the number of cases when that happens are greater than the cases of people not buying a game because they didn't play the demo because it had been taken away.

Thanks for the head up, I gonna download them before they take it off.
This is really annoying but Nintendo tend to be a bit behind compare to Microsoft and Sony e.g. on the Gamecube they made little on the online capability while the other two were utilizing it and again using the console to play DVD.

Garak73:

We get that you love Nintendo but HD-DVD?

Sorry, but at what point did I say I loved Nintendo. It should be blatantly obvious to even a blind man that the post was more or less mocking Nintendo for always being "behind the times" when it comes to the console generation.

Of course Nintendo doesn't like the idea of demos. The more you know about a games flaws, the less likely you are to buy it.

cursedseishi:

Garak73:

We get that you love Nintendo but HD-DVD?

Sorry, but at what point did I say I loved Nintendo. It should be blatantly obvious to even a blind man that the post was more or less mocking Nintendo for always being "behind the times" when it comes to the console generation.

I was being sarcastic.

I'd hardly call the Playstation Store robust when it comes to demos. Sadly most games do not have them. Just another way PSN is running sweatily along behind Xbox Live trying to catch up but not gaining any ground.

a lot of the people who own a wii don't really care about buying full games. so i don't really blame them.

The lack of demos has flat-out stopped me from buying anything on WiiWare. Apparently Nintendo is dead-set against having my money. And they have a captive audience given that the Wii is the only current-gen console I own. Oh well, their loss. I'll just have to keep finding better places to spend the money I don't have.

cursedseishi:
Of course Nintendo missed the point.

They're currently in the generation that PS2 and Xboxs had hung out in, where demos only really came from rentals, or if you're lucky, Playstation Underground disks, where online was niche for one, and mandatory for the other (resulting in a rather creepy, fugly baby for the Wii), and no real voice chat (besides the xbox, but thats only half of the Generation equation).

Expect the Wii-2 to have HD-DVD format disks, real ($10 a month) online play without friend codes or bloody work-arounds made by the developers, actual voice chat, true demos.

But we'll still be annoyed since the PS4 and XSphere will support free online play, holographic controllers projected from a pair of gloves that work for any console that isn't the Wii-2 (because nintendo thought their PS3-Xbox 360 controller ripoff was too good). And holographic based disk media that makes the Wii-2 disks look like something for the Commodore 64.

......WHAT?!?! You're delusional. Absolutely crazy. That would've been the dumbest thing that Michael Pachter ever said.
OT: I can kinda see what the logic behind this is. Give people a taste, then when they have the urge to play it for a bit a month later, (if the game was good) they won't have any choice but to buy the full game. That doesn't mean I like it though.

two steps forward one step back. Yeh they are still moving forward but they have to make a retarded mistake every so often to keep their bottom line more humble? \o.O/

Why not put like... an expiration date on the demo instead? (if nintendo must TRULY take this route, I highly disapprove) that way the demos are always available, and it leaves the audience wanting more. But isn't that the point of a demo anyways?

NINTENDO IS BACKWARDS!!! WHY?!?!

Basically they want to force buyers to buy their shitty games and make them realize it was a shitty investment.

Or Nintendo really is being a fool.

I really hate Nintendo. The company is run by a bunch of fucking idiots. What kinda company fucks up DEMOS this bad?

I like their handleld hardware, and some first party PUBLISHED titles.

But their first party DEVELOPED titles aren't my thing, since the Metroid Prime games are from Retro Studios.

Without third party support, I'd be a hard sell on the 3DS.

From a business standpoint, this isn't bad. Because of the limited download times, this means that people who have a online-enabled Wii will constantly be checking the Wii store for free demos, which in turn means more time using the console and familiarizing with the Wii Shop Channel. Of course, from the dedicated gamer perspective this looks completely botch since Nintendo is forcing us to use the Wii if we want a faint taste of what we could be playing. Personally, it's hard to blame Nintendo for wanting us to use their console more.

I think Nintendo's lagging behind, well, everyone else in the world on comprehending the Internet. Take the Gamecube. Sure, it had Internet... if you bought an expensive attachment. And sure, you could play games online... so long as it was Phantasy Star Online.

The Wii has greater Internet functionality, sure, but you also have to struggle with friend codes and games that don't fully support all the features you might need to communicate with others, like microphones. Oh, and if you want a wired internet connection you have to buy an adapter. WTF.

I think Nintendo has been looking at the Internet from a Japanese point-of-view--from what cursory research I've done, Japan's citizens lagged behind the rest of the world in adopting the Internet, and Nintendo itself may have been considering how widely the Internet is used in Japan when it designs its consoles and interfaces, but failing to consider its importance in other countries. This attitude may also have led them to regard the Internet as a minor feature rather than a vital one. So, I theorize this failure to understand the Internet's potential and how important it is worldwide is what is behind baffling decisions like demos being made available for only a week or so. They just don't get it. Not that that's an excuse, because Sony and Microsoft don't appear to have the same problem.

 

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