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Nintendo-Patented 'Demo Play' Help Feature Also Coming To DS
Nintendo-Patented 'Demo Play' Help Feature Also Coming To DS
July 7, 2009 | By Leigh Alexander

July 7, 2009 | By Leigh Alexander
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An automated walkthrough feature intended to show players solutions to Wii titles will reportedly also be available on the DS.

New Super Mario Bros Wii will be the first title to use the 'Demo Play' feature, patented by Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto, who confirmed the system last month.

According to a Nikkei newspaper report discovered by consumer weblog Kotaku, some handheld titles will also employ Demo Play, described as suitable for "high speed action games".

Although Nintendo has not yet provided specific details on how Demo Play works, it appears to allow players to automate gameplay at points when they get stuck, either to have the solution demonstrated for them or to simply skip past difficult parts. As Miyamoto recently described: "In New Super Mario Bros Wii, if a player is experiencing an area of difficulty, this will allow them to clear troubled areas and take over when they're ready."

The feature's aimed at reducing barriers to entry for inexperienced or young players, aiming to encouraging more players to complete games in full.


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Comments


Ciro Continisio
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"In New Super Mario Bros Wii, if a player is experiencing an area of difficulty, this will allow them to clear troubled areas and take over when they're ready."



This makes me think of World of Goo's 'skip this level' feature. In that game it's limited to three levels, and yet I didn't use it at all.

If Nintendo wants to exagerately help the player but let her decide wheter or not to be helped, it's ok for me.

Andy Ross
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I'm still really skeptical that this idea is any good at all. Since most games have (or attempt to have) a linear difficulty progression, surely if you can't get past an area of the game because it's too difficult then you won't make it past later sections that should be even harder. Therefore, you pretty much have to be able to skip the rest of the entire game :)



Granted, it's useful if a section has an unexpected difficulty spike, but that's just bad design and should not require this kind of "band-aid" type fix.



I'm really concerned that the ideas of difficulty / challenge in games are slowly being erroded by this all-consuming concept of uber-accessibility, which will just lead to over-easy, lackluster and unrewarding experiences. Is that really a good thing? Seriously, how can we ever consider a "the game plays itself" feature to be a good one?


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