I can't remember the exact year('97/'98?), but when I bought my PSX it came with a demo disc loaded with awesome games. Metal Gear Solid was on there and I played that shit over and over until I could afford to buy it. I couldn't even afford a game at first, I just wanted the system and planned on borrowing from my buddies.
^Great selection of games on this disc.
I miss them. They were fun to discover and check out.
It was different times, and now the internet offers an overload of trailers, maybe demos, freeware and giveaways and the backlog is huge compared to back then. I don't think I have the same enthusiasm any more.
Demos in general were amazing, I remember I had one for Rollcage on PC and they left the developer keys active (Like the Dead Island launch code where you could activate 3rd person and other console commands via hotkeys, how did that get through QA ) so you could press an F-key and it gave you two turbos instantly.
The tracks were suspended in the air, so you could technically fly straight to the finish line with the right momentum, so I tried to beat all the levels in the demo by turning to face the finish line at the start of the race and then spamming the boost key + that F-key to basically fly over to it, I submitted a time for a demo competition and my time was like less than 10 seconds for the whole course, I didnt win and no reply on that, filthy cheater haha. They didn't say you couldn't use accidently left on dev keys...
What really blew my little mind back then were "compilations" like, The Sweeney <insert number>. I can't even find reference to them online (for obvious reasons), anyone here relate to that? Finding tiny, unlisted games in the folders was so awesome, was like a treasure hunt.
I don't miss them as they've been replaced by a much much better alternative....BUT, there was something magical about them too and the excitement when you'd get a good one.
Pizza Hut's demo disk with Metal Gear Solid and Tomb Raider demos on it was one of my favorite. Reggie Fils-Ame was on point when he came up with that. Also had a Tony Hawk demo that'd I'd use the GameShark on to stop the timer and just skate for hours while listening to my own music.
I just remembered I, like many others I'm sure, bought Zone of the Enders for the MGS 2 demo disc. I planned to play it for a week or two and then return it but when I got it home I realised some bastard had already had the idea but going further and just return the game without the demo disc in the case
Had to go back and the person behind the counter was so confused I was saying the disc was missing and he's like the disc is right there, "Its *squints at disc* Zone of the Enders", he couldn't understand why I would care about the demo so disc much haha.
We don't really get much of that type of experimental ambient demoscene music these days. It really set an otherworldly tone like a transition into some surreal dimension if that makes any sense. Cool shit in my book.
I miss game demo DVD's. I miss stuff like PlayStation Qore. It feels like all of the platform owners used to reach out to consumers a lot more back in the day. I guess now that everyone can merely download things in moments their strategies have changed.
Never mind demo discs, who remembers getting demo cassettes from magazines? Often enough, what was included on those C64 demo tapes was enough to make me [ask my mum to] buy the magazine. Every now and again you'd get a full game, too.
Then there were the Amiga days, where you'd have 2 or 3 discs attached to the cover. Lots of interesting PD games from those floppies.
CDs during the PlayStation 1 era remained a thing for a while, before (I assume) it grew too expensive to continue.
Hey, does anyone remember that one crazy time where you bought the PS2 Metal Gear Solid 2 demo and Konami threw in that free robot game? That was pretty sweet
I used to be hardcore with my Mean Machines magazine (it really was excellent, shame it split up into two mags) and later ones. When demo discs were finally a thing for console (before CD's came out, we had to make do with VHS tapes...) I loved them, but I don't miss them. There's still enough demos that come out for me to download, but I have such a massive back catalogue of games, it's become irrelevant to me. I don't miss having to shed a bunch of money for a mag and get it home, only to find all of the news is old and the headlines all hyperbole and "clickbait" and demos rubbish. The first disc of Panzer Dragoon Saga was certainly a highlight though, wish I'd kept it really, might be worth something!
It was such an easy and convenient way to try games.
Most of the time i would pop the disc in, try all 7 games in 5 minutes and toss it out into the pile. I have a huuuuge pile of demodiscs. When i dig up an old disc based console these days, i often return to the demo pile. Its like flipping through old magazines.
Sometimes i would find a game that did interesting things with the graphics, like quake 2 on psone, or some game that was sorta fun for an 30 minutes play session like some random snowboard game.
Sometimes you found games you would not have thought you would like but did. But this is and was truly rare.
Or when you got a demo of an game that you really really wanted like mgs2 and you played that over and over again, thinking about how the finished game would end up. In the end the demo was better than the finished game.
I still download demos of games i really like to play. But i rarely if ever download random demos. It just takes to long. Downloading, installing, uninstalling. It just is not enjoyable.
But i would like to have some modern demodiscs. If its not possible physically, they could make them downloadable. Ten demos packaged into one file, which you only have to download, installl, uninstall once.
My favorite demo discs came from the Official Xbox Magazine, some of them had the newest or pre-released triple A titles and those discs were the only way you got to try them. They also had trailers for brand new games that I couldn't find anywhere else at the time due to Internet's infancy and lack of YouTube. I miss is solely for the nostalgia reasons but nothing else.