Most gamers will concur that playing a game before buying it is advantageous for customers who want to spend their money sensibly. Demos have been around for a long time, most of which are available for download on many gaming platforms. Many people may find it challenging to recall a time when getting a game demo was unusual and thrilling. The first prominent home console manufacturer to use this strategy was Sony, which produced many noteworthy demo discs for the first PlayStation. Demo discs would eventually be made available by Sega as well, but Nintendo was a little slower to follow suit.
Nintendo’s finally utilized optical media with GameCube, which was introduced in 2001. Nintendo could finally afford to provide game demos as a result. Even then, Nintendo didn’t appear as eager to make game demos available as its rivals. However, Nintendo allowed gamers to sample before they bought on many famous and iconic occasions.
Metroid Prime 2:Echoes Bonus Disc
In the GameCube era, Nintendo offered sample CDs as a perk for purchasing issues of Nintendo Power magazine. The Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Bonus Disc was one example of this, even though it was also included as a bonus with some reissues of the first Metroid Prime game.
Two Prime 2 trailers, a timeline of the Metroid series up to that point, and a game demo were all included on this disc. A vertical slice of the whole game was included in the demo, which could be completed in around 20 minutes and featured sections from the first half of the game. It performed an excellent job of giving gamers an idea of what the entire game will be like and getting them eager about it. It was reasonably well done for its time.
The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker Demo
People who browsed the video game aisle at their neighbourhood Walmart or Target in 2003 might recall seeing a demo version of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. Later, The Legend of Zelda: Collector’s Edition, a compilation CD comprising four complete Legend of Zelda games and trailers for both The Wind Waker and the entire Zelda series, will include this store demo.
The player may select one of three save files from the demo, each including a different early-game scene. Players might explore the dungeon on Dragon Roost Island using the first file. The stealth sequence, in which players attempted to sneak into the Forbidden Fortress, was in the second file. In the third file, players could tour Windfall Island and try the game’s sailing functionality.
Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt
In 2004, the first Nintendo DS model was released, introducing gamers to the world of dual-screen gaming. A demo for the then-in-development game Metroid Prime Hunters, with the aptly named subtitle First Hunt, was packaged with that original model.
A brief single-player level and a morph ball challenge were included in the demo. The 4-player multiplayer feature that allowed for deathmatch over local wifi networks was perhaps the most useful to players. Although it was pretty basic, this handheld first-person shooter at the time was excellent and showed the system’s technical prowess. Players might test out a variety of control schemes in the demo. Despite not having twin analogue sticks, it provided a tantalizing peek of how a machine like the DS could be able to handle an FPS.
Super Smash Bros.Brawl Masterpieces
Nintendo’s numerous brands have always been honoured in the Super Smash Bros. series. These combat games serve as a museum honouring the legacy of innumerable vintage games, with hundreds of game series represented. This idea was expanded upon in Super Smash Bros. Brawl by including demo versions of many of Nintendo’s most venerable games. Although this was done to advertise Nintendo’s Virtual Console service, it was nonetheless enjoyable to be able to access these demos. Players had the chance to visit the places where many of the classic characters and settings first appeared, albeit somewhat constrained.
Unfortunately, several of these demos had concise time constraints—some even lasted less than a minute. However, players have continued to strive to maximise their worth despite this. For instance, using bugs, the speedrunner Savestate completed The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time in Brawl’s five-minute demo in 2021.
Super Smash Bros. on Wii U would feature a comeback of this feature. It would ultimately be absent from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate due to Nintendo ending the Virtual Console programme.
Mario Kart: Double Dash Bonus Disc
Back in the day, putting demo discs as a bonus with another game was a popular way to distribute them. The PlayStation 2 game Zone of the Enders, which included a demo CD for Metal Gear Solid 2, further popularised this practice.
Nintendo experimented with a similar idea with the Bonus Disc that came with some Mario Kart: Double Dash editions. The disc had trailers for numerous more titles and playable demos for Mario Party 5, F-Zero GX, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Star Wars Rogue Squadron III, and Sonic Heroes. It was a very neat little bonus all in all.