Joe Lewis of The Koalition writes:
Video games have come a long way since the flickering arcade displays of Computer Space and its kin, and there’s been no better indicator of the industry’s progression than the demos released alongside the games themselves. At the start of the eighth generation of home consoles, it may be time for developers to say goodbye to the demo, but not without something new ready and waiting to take its place.
In the golden age of the arcade, and even in the dwindling arcades of today, non-interactive demos displayed constantly on unoccupied cabinets to present a game’s visual flavour to a prospective player. Since then the use of demos has fluctuated, but as physical media plummeted in price – the compact disks of the PlayStation era were particularly popular – demos flourished becoming a key part of video game marketing.