Will Instant Demos Give the PlayStation 5 An Edge Over the Xbox Series X?

If you’re not aware, Sony has a service called PS Now that allows you to stream a number of games, including PlayStation exclusives, even on the PC. This is similar to how Microsoft’s Project xCloud is supposed to work, too, and game streaming is slowly taking a hold on the gaming segment. However, a new rumor says that you’ll be able to stream game demos on the PS5, and this could be a big deal.

The source of the rumor is Twitter account PS5 Only (@ConsoleTime), and to be clear, the post doesn’t cite any specific source and is tagged it “#Rumor,” so you should take it with a grain of salt for now.

Should this rumor turn out to be legitimate, it could have some major implications on how we decide to purchase new games. Instead of having to rely on game trailers or online reviews of a game, we could actually try them out first, at least in some capacity. It would solve the issue with spending $50 on a game just to find out an hour later (depending on download time, of course) that you’re not even into it. On the other hand, this isn’t as cut and dry as it might sound.

First off, Sony would have to get as many studios and publishers on board as possible, otherwise the capability would be so limited that it might not matter. With the PS5 capable of downloading specific parts of a game like the campaign or multiplayer, without downloading the entire game, integration should be easy enough, at least on paper, anyway.

On the other hand, Microsoft has come out and said that Project xCloud (still a working title) will be fully integrated with the Xbox Series X and it, too, could provide the same kind of capability. In fact, one would think it would be very easy since all game files are stored on remote servers anyway – just boot someone into a specific segment of the game and give them 20 minutes to check it out. People love demos, no doubt, but publishers (and Sony, for that matter) have also made it clear that selling games based on trailers is a better approach, and makes games look better than they really are in some cases. With that in mind, this type of capability may never get off the ground, but we can always hope.

Should Sony actually implement such a capability in the PS5 and get major publishers on board it could give it a major advantage over the Xbox Series X if Microsoft dones’t have something to counter it. With both next-gen systems planned to launch around the holidays this year, it seems that we’ll find out soon enough.