Tech demo

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Not to be confused with vaporware, a commercial product which presumably started development but never got released.

A tech demo is a computer and video game industry term referring to short applications designed to gauge interest in an upcoming product or to demonstrate hardware-specific features. Tech demos have various levels of interactivity, ranging from real-time videos to short but fully playable demonstrations. Tech demos are rarely intended to be turned into fully fledged commercial products, though their ideas and concepts are sometimes reused.

Due to its status as Nintendo's flagship franchise, the Mario franchise has been the subject of or has been featured in many tech demos. The following is a list of them.

List of Mario-related tech demos[edit]

Game System Description and Related Works
Mario Demo Virtual Boy An animation sequence to show off the console's stereoscopic 3D effect.
Luigi's Mansion Nintendo 64 Luigi's Mansion was originally shown off at Space World 2000 as a tech demo for the Nintendo 64. However, it was later decided that the demo would be reworked into a full-fledged game exclusively for the Nintendo GameCube.[1][2]
Yoshi Demo Game Boy Advance Loosely based on Yoshi's Story, it is unknown if this demo was ever meant to be a full game.[3]
Mario Kart XXL A playable Mario Kart demo developed by Denaris Entertainment Software made to showcase the Game Boy Advance's ability to render two separate background layers.[4]
Super Mario 128 Nintendo GameCube A series of experiments originally intended to be a sequel to Super Mario 64. Concepts from this demo were used in other projects, such as Pikmin and Super Mario Galaxy.[5]
Peach's Castle A tech demo included in a revision of the GameCube Software Development Kit, created to show developers the graphical capabilities of the console.[6]
Mario Kart for Nintendo GameCube A seven-second clip featuring Mario and Luigi driving karts using Super Smash Bros. Melee models. It was most likely reworked into Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.
Balloon Trip Nintendo DS A Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island-themed minigame making use of the Nintendo DS's touchscreen and dual screen setup. It ended up forming the basis of Yoshi Touch and Go.[7]
Mario's Face A tech demo featuring Mario and Wario's heads, that could be squeezed or stretched in various ways, similar to the title screen for Super Mario 64.[8]
New Super Mario Bros. Mii Wii U An experience tech demo loosely based on New Super Mario Bros. Wii appearing at E3 2011. The demo's primary purpose was to show off the "Off-TV Play" function of the Wii U. It served as the basis for New Super Mario Bros. U.
Chase Mii It features Miis in Mario-themed costumes playing a game similar to tag. A refined version of this demo appears in Nintendo Land under the name Mario Chase.
Shield Pose A rhythm-based minigame in which the player moves the GamePad around to block attacks. Initially developed as pre-installed software for the console[9], the demo's scope was expanded and it was reworked as the Game & Wario minigame Pirates.
Measure Up A minigame in which the player is instructed to draw geometrical shapes. It was released as the Game & Wario minigame Design.
Zapper demo A minigame in which the player moves the GamePad to shoot Mii-like characters. It ended up being the basis of the Game & Wario minigame Shutter.
Mario vs. Donkey Kong Wii U demo Developed with Nintendo Web Framework (a development environment based on WebKit), the Mario vs. Donkey Kong Wii U demo was shown at GDC 2014, used as a sample to show the potential of Nintendo Web Framework. Like previous installments in the series, the goal of each level is to guide the Mini Marios to the exit, creating paths through the positioning of platforms and other interactions with the setting made through the touch screen of the GamePad. The first stage shows some of the basic features of Nintendo Web Framework, and then after this stage is a bigger stage, which brings more complex lighting effects and animations.[10][11] This title was reworked into Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars.


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Calderon, Anthony. (January 21, 2005). The Making of the Game - Luigi's Mansion. N-Sider. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ Gameplay footage of Mario Kart XXL. Youtube. Retrieved August 15, 2015
  5. ^ [3]
  6. ^ [4]
  7. ^ [5]
  8. ^ [6]
  9. ^ Iwata Asks: Game & Wario
  10. ^ Mario Vs. Donkey Kong Wii U Demo Playable at GDC - Mario Party Legacy
  11. ^ [7]