X3: Non-playable Demo?

While the kneejerk reaction to this is obviously one of mild incredulity, I can see why Egosoft have chosen to release this “benchmarking” version of X3 as a demo. It must be remarkably frustrating for people who build wide-open, sandbox titles and then find they can’t adequately promote or explain their game with a demo version. Perhaps there’s no way to chop out a chunk of the universe for people to play, and there are obvious problems with putting out a time-limited version of a full game. I guess this keeps the download size down too. If you want to see how your machine renders Terran Conflict’s pretty-pretty spacemobiles then you can get it here.


  1. aldo_14 says:

    Didn’t they do the same thing for X2 as well?

  2. nabeel says:

    I have no interest in X3 at all, but this is a great idea in my opinion. I was thinking of this very same solution for many games that don’t have a demo.


  3. Lord_Mordja says:

    Huh? They had a demo for “The Reunion”.

  4. jonfitt says:

    Non-interactive demos of games are preferable to no demo at all. It gives people a useful benchmarking tool. If you had no intention of playing Crysis, it would still be cool to grab the demo and run a timedemo. (Although in Crysis’ case you can do this with the interactive demo).

    For a game like X3 it’s a good solution to them if they can’t cut out a demo, but also maybe it’s even better than a live demo?
    I played the demo of X3:Reunion and you’re dumped in the game with a billion icons on screen and no real tutorial. (Turns out that’s just like the full game, but at least there you have the manual).
    Maybe it’s better for the developers to excite people with the visuals so they want to learn how to play rather than throwing a pretty but hugely complicated demo at them?

    I know I’d rather see 1 in-game but non-interactive demo, than several cut together hi-action xxxtreme trailers like we see everyday. It’s much more representative of the real experience.

  5. teo says:


  6. frymaster says:

    last time round they did a rolling demo, then released a one-sector time-limited demo later on. I presume they have the same plans this time.

  7. mashakos says:

    looks like they’re using the same engine, but with horendous bloom.

  8. andy says:

    looking forward to seeing the purties in this demo. and more importantly how my rig handles it.

    if anyone’s listening, please get to work on putting together a nice Homeworl3. please?

  9. Urael says:

    As Frymaster said, this is nothing new nor even remotely scandalous. They did exactly the same thing for X3: Reunion and X2; A rolling tech demo, then a playable demo a month or three later. Shame on you, Jim, for making journalistic mountains out of mole-exits, given Egosoft’s long-proven care and attention to benchmarking. Move along, people. Nothing to froth about here.

    I will be interested to see how this game fares on my beloved 5-year old rig, though (She’s called Natalie). X3 ran very well but how much of an upgrade has Terran Conflict received?

  10. terry says:

    This reminds me of the “rolling demos” on the Spectrum mags covertape. Shadow of the Beast sure looked pretty :(

  11. Caiman says:

    Well, they’re calling it X3: Terran Conflict and not X4: Terran Conflict. How different from X3’s structure and tech can it actually be?

  12. Dominic White says:

    Caiman: Terran Conflict is basically X3 + A *large* expansions worth of content integrated into everything + A totally new UI + New mouse/keyboard flying controls and a much better mission system that lets you actually get into the action much faster. Not quite a sequel, but more than an expansion.

  13. TheDeadlyShoe says:

    Well, they’re calling it X3: Terran Conflict and not X4: Terran Conflict. How different from X3’s structure and tech can it actually be?

    Well, it uses all the content as X3 and it has the same engine. But gameplay wise and content wise it’s a far bigger departure from X3 than X3 was from X2.

    The biggest things being they removed the entire BBS and replaced it with a more dynamic missions system. Part of the upshot is that there’s five medium length decent quality campaigns rather than 1 long shitass campaign.