Why PlayStation VR is Going to Bring Back the Demo Disc

by Jamie Feltham • August 2nd, 2016

Remember the demo disc? Fans of the original PlayStation certainly will, and the concept is coming back for PlayStation VR.

Richard Marks, Senior Research Engineer at PlayStation’s Magic Labs, revealed as much on-stage at GamesBeat 2016 this year. Speaking about how to sell people on the upcoming headset, Marks mentioned that there were “two major ways” creator Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) was trying to achieve this. The first of these was a demo disc, which will contain “five minute nuggets” from a range of games that are coming to PS VR. No, we don’t meant SIE London Studios’ PlayStation VR Worlds minigame compilation; we mean a real demo disc.

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Demo discs quickly became extinct in the previous console generation when the concept of downloadable demos was introduced, so it’s interesting to see that SIE will be bringing them back for PS VR. Marks himself called them “kind of an old thing”, but explained the discs would be vitally important to allowing PS VR owners to quickly show off highlights of games to friends. In his words, they contain “five minutes of awesomeness” that will hopefully be enough to sell people on the unit.

What Marks didn’t confirm is exactly what experiences will be available on the disc, though we wouldn’t be surprised to find that some of PS VR’s headlining titles like Resident Evil 7 biohazard and RIGS: Mechanized Combat League are included. He also didn’t mention if there would be more than one of these discs, or if the demos would also be downloadable.

I still remember the original demo disc that came with my PlayStation and the others that followed. They introduced me to Crash Bandicoot, Kurushi Final, and countless other games that went on to become some of my all-time favorites. What  will the PS VR demo disc introduce us to, I wonder?

The other approach to selling PS VR, obviously, is to have demo kiosks at retail outlets like Best Buy and GameStop, which Sony has been rolling out since E3 2016. In fact, Marks said that SIE plans to do 500,000 demos by the end of the year and, judging by the reactions we recently gauged, it’s well on its way to achieving that. Interestingly, he also noted that it was important to feature a range of experiences at these kiosks, as no one VR experience was suited to everyone’s tastes.

PS VR hits on October 13th 2016 for $399. We’re looking forward to learning much more about the headset in the days remaining before launch.

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