Relatively speaking, demo discs are something new to console fans. In the last twenty years, most mainstream computer magazines have taken to providing some sort of disk media with demonstration versions of software on, but thanks to the reliance on cartridge based games from companies like Nintendo, it's been very hard for owners of consoles to get demo versions of anything. Which is why, at this stage, most of the console magazine demo discs are laborious to navigate and relatively low on content. However, professional demo discs are something else. Look at the disc released with the PS2 (or even with the Dreamcast), and consider how well done that was. But in truth, what we really like are single-use demos. Short versions of games made by the developers themselves and used in trade shows and whatnot. Stuff like the Metal Gear Solid 2 rolling demo that stunned crowds at ECTS, and the Ridge Racer Revolution demo disc packaged with Ridge Racer Type 4 on the PSX. These people know what they're doing. And that's one of the reasons that this latest Konami announcement has got a lot of people hot under the collar with anticipation. We all know that the phenomenal MGS2 will hit sometime late next year, but according to Konami, Hideo Kojima's other mech combat game, Zone of the Enders (not an Albert Square combat simulation actually) will be released in March and accompanied by a playable demo of MGS2. Now, this signifies two things; the Japanese can look forward to seeing Zone of the Enders sell like hotcakes, and that Konami want to keep everyone frothing at the mouth. It's a very clever strategic move actually - it cements Konami as a major force in the PS2 market without them actually having to release their blockbuster title. Who cares if Enders is any good, it will sell, and people will love MGS2 even more. Result! It's not known just what will be in the demo, but it's thought that it will be a couple of early levels with heavy scripting to help Konami show off. Personally, I can't wait.
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