Today's consoles do a great job of using an Internet connection to expand the gamer's experience through a mix of free and paid content. The Xbox Live Marketplace, for example, is only a few buttons away when you're actually playing a game. Connect a credit card to the Marketplace, and you can pause Gears of War to instantly buy more maps, character skins or campaigns. Don't want to purchase anything? Check out the free Asura's Wrath demo.
Although downloadable content has been an integral part of the console experience for years, it's been largely absent from the handheld scene. This weekend, Nintendo started changing things, with its first-ever playable demo in the 3DS store. On Friday, the company released a playable demo for Resident Evil: Revelations on its eShop, which opened last June. In few days you'll be able to download more game demos for upcoming titles like Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Rayman Origins and the next 3DS Metal Gear Solid.
Although Nintendo's eShop has been live for nearly half a year, it's generally been filled with content like video clips, screenshots and older games that hold limited interest. The playable demos not only offer cool new 3D content to try out, they also signal that Nintendo's ready to commit to its online store. If you've given up on the 3DS eShop or you've been holding out on buying a 3DS, pick one up today and check out some of the exciting new games on the way.
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