Don’t like demos? Can’t stand buying games and finding out that they’re the rusted over crude from uncleaned corner of the devil’s throne? Well, now you don’t have to be subject to a “Banana Surprise” and find out that you’re going in expecting Watch Dogs from E3 2012 and you end up with Watch Dogs from 2014… on the Xbox One, at least.
Eurogamer [via CVG] managed to get in word with the head honcho over the Xbox One’s ID@Xbox program, Chris Charla, who talked about the evolution of the device and how they’re aiming to make game purchases as consumer-convenient as possible.
Now I was at first skeptical and leery, like a parole officer being told by a convict who committed multiple murders that he just has to make a quick trip to ex-girlfriend’s house, and he’s going to be off the grid for a few weeks, but everything is cool.
Well, Microsoft actually appears to be attempting to reconcile with the community in a genuine way, and Charla stated that…
“When Xbox One launched you could do game demos and you could do games. But we didn’t have the functionality that was on Xbox 360 – that ‘trial’ experience where you could download a demo and then convert it [to a full version],”
“But now we do. In the same way that we update the Xbox One OS every month, they update the development system every month – or regularly, anyway. So that’s something that we recently turned on. I don’t think we’ve seen any ID@Xbox games yet that have shipped with trials, but we may well in the future. It’s something that’s open to everybody.”
That’s pretty rad. I genuinely have to say that a trials feature for games, with an option to buy, is a magnificent thing. It worked wonders during the Xbox 360’s era, so I can’t see it going wrong for the Xbox One.
A feature like this helps gamers weed out whether or not a game is worth purchasing, especially when the demo is either a flaccid piece of software inertia that only has a 20 minute limit and two play-through options, or if there’s no demo at all and you’re just required to pony up $60 for a game that could very well be the breaking point that pushes you over the edge and into a sea of hysteria after collecting one too many terri-bad AAA titles.
As for when gamers will see more ID@Xbox games? Well, there are a lot in development right now, and Microsoft is still slowly etching into their software library a nice niche of titles from indie developers as the platform continues to grow as a games device. That’s right… a games device.
So long as they keep the TV on your TV talk to a minimum, and focus on bringing over more hard-hitting titles and features like being able to trial a game with the option to buy, I think Microsoft will slowly, and surely, win back over the crowd they so desperately alienated during the regime of Don Mattrick when the console was first unveiled in the spring of 2013.