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Xbox 360’s Downloadable Demos

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One of the great new features of the new and improved Xbox Live on the 360 is a downloadable demo. Not only demos of the fun and addicting arcade games, but demos of full 360 games – the games you will be spending $60 on.

So far you can download a demo of: Need for Speed: Most Wanted, Kameo: Elements of Power, NBA Live 06, and Madden NFL 06. These downloads range from 400 MB in size to almost 900 MB. It takes the better part of an hour usually to get one of these. But when you think about it, this is time well spent.

The Most Wanted demo is the best one so far, and actually convinced me to get the game. Next to Condemned: Criminal Origins, it is my current favorite game on the 360.

Other demos do not fare as well. Just like the EA Sports lineup this year, the EA Sports demos show just how bad the full game would be if you were to spend the cash. It is no secret by now that EA Sports bet the farm on feature lacking sports titles just to make launch… we would have been better off waiting until, say, March 2006 to see the EA Sports Xbox 360 games.

Right away you see how horrible (all) the camera angles are in NBA Live 06, not to mention the game play. There is no franchise mode. Things are rather bleak. If anything, this cemented the deal on NBA 2K6 this year for my basketball sim fix.

Sadly Madden NFL 06 is another title that falls under the same complaints as Live 06. Unfortunately for gamers – thanks to the No Fun League – there is no other NFL games for the next few years. So gamers are left asking themselves if they want a watered down Madden this year or if they want to wait for Madden NFL 07. I will chose to wait. I still have NFL 2K5 for my Xbox if I need some football.

I think the Kameo: Elements of Power demo is really going to show the non-believers out there that this game is the real deal. It is not a “kiddie” game and it is not a push over. As with Most Wanted, I was not going to spend the money on Kameo. I did. It is a solid game.

As it turns out, this demo thing worked well for me. I think it will do the same for others too. I just hope to see more then four demos of 360 games on the Xbox Live Marketplace in the near future. It really is a great tool for developers to sell their products.

There is of course a downside to all of this. If your game is not up to par, it will discourage buyers. Maybe this could mean higher quality products? That is not a bad idea, particularly after the luke warm Xbox 360 launch.

The Xbox Live Marketplace demos need to be better utilized so the entire 360 community can reap the benefits. I hope to see more demos soon.

It would be especially nice to see a demo of Call of Duty 2 or King Kong. Those are two games I am not sure about yet.

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About Ken Edwards