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Downloadable demos and the PS3 |

Some of you may remember a few months back a rumour started going around that Sony were going to charge users for demos downloaded through the PlayStation Store. Well, as those with a PS3 and Motorstorm demo can attest, demos are free.

Well Kotaku have come across some information that suggests that third party developers will have to pay for their demos to be added to the download list. Sony will be charging them to regain the costs of the free PlayStation Network. Kotaku extrapolate that this will mean there will be fewer game demos available on the PlayStation Store.

There are a few flaws in this rumour however. Firstly, if true then these costs would be paid for by the game’s publisher, not the developer itself. Secondly, this is hardly likely to restrict game demo content. Publishers understand that demos can be a great way in creating hype about an upcoming product- downloadable demos have met with great success on the 360, and if a publisher spends time and money creating a demo for the 360 then it makes sense to get as much value out of it as possible, even if the costs do rise. This is without even getting into how much it costs a company to put a demo online and allow downloading- Sony don’t seem to charge anyone to put PSP demos on their sites, and assuming they take a smart approach with PS3 demos they should not cost much to distribute.

Again, I should add that this is a rumour, but even as a rumour it doesn’t have much credence- “Several industry insiders” (ie. anyone from employees at your local game store to Sony’s Ken Kutaragi) and words such as “apparently thinking”, “considering” and “unconfirmed” add up to a story with little value.


  • Makes sense, it’s easier than buying a magazine with the demo’s in it, like before with the PS2. I’m hoping more demo’s well come soon, like Heavenly Sword, Metal Gear, etc.

  • kotaku is one of the worst rumour-mongers around. they’re like a cheap tabloid. i’ve stopped reading them.

    as for the rumour, if it’s true, it all depends on how much they charge, right? and if enough publishers balk (and you’re absolutely right, it’d be the PUBLISHERS picking up the tab, not the developers, which is another strike against kotaku’s report), then it’s likely sony would change their tune (or at least adjust the pricing) anyway… whatever the market will bear, right? and now publishers aren’t having to spend so much money on E3, so this just goes into similar marketing costs.

    to infer some kind of doom and gloom over this is just stupid.

  • I wouldn’t put it past Sony to charge devs for everything possible thing. Hopefully it is just a rumor though

  • Sporty

    I agree about the kotaku comment. They used to be decent but now seem to jump on anything negative they can about Sony. Even down to posting from message board rumours without verifying anything.

    However I can see this happening in one case. PS Network is set up so other publishers can plug into and add content to the store. If they choose to have sony house the demo then they might charge the publishers for the bandwith. Guess they can always set up their own servers and plug into it for free. But again its a Kotaku rumour so chances are slim it holds any weight. There PS3 Linux post shows ignorance as to what Linux is. They seem to think was homebrew similar to PSP.

  • Tom

    Could be worse- Joystiq are terrible in that regard- they don’t seem to see the bigger picture of the PS3 at all.

  • Looks like no demos for digital download then which is a shame. Well at least there is the OPM demo disk. Otherwise there would be no PS3 game demos at all.

  • Koorb: no OPM demo disc any more (at least in north america). OPM is closing up 🙁

    but i don’t understand why you are saying “Looks like no demos for digital download”. there are and there will be downloadable demos.

  • Sporty

    Yea, as stated in this news post this rumour is most likely false, If it held any water I’m sure Ubisoft would have complained about it by now.

    That aside even if it was true, demo will be (and are) on PS Network for the simple reason that the more people that try out a game the more likely they will buy them. Hell when I’m bored I just download random demos from XB Live to see what they are like. Demos are the reason why I bought about 1/2 of my game library.

  • I reall,y really, REALLY like how to wrote this piece Tom. You defended the playstation brand (this is* a ps3 blog right? ; ) and you did so logically, with reasons explaing why. And without massive flaming or insults. Also, you didn’t just avoid the rumor. You dug right into it, the right way I feel. You rock. Seriously, Good reporting all around Tom.

    As far as kotaku comments go, yeah.. they do seem a bit biased but isn’t the site we on right now biased towards ps3? Maybe being biased isn’t always so bad. Also, I agree they are turning into rumormill center, but that’s what gets the people in. What gets the people in is what makes the mula. What makes the mula is what pays for bandwith and better staff. Better staff better stories with time… maybe. lol* Anyway, you get what im trying to say right guys? Also, kotaku is really good at getting obscure info on gaming which is always fun.

  • excuse my spelling/grammar.. i went on a 8 hour rainbow six: vegas marathon with my friends. I’m dead to the world now. Mmmmm…. Bed… MMMmmmmm… sleep.

  • Sam

    As long as we can get sony to let us dl demos while we play another game, browse the internet, or even just bounce around in another area of the PS-store, i don’t care what they do!

  • DEMOS!!! I hope the PS3 network works