As announced during Sony's E3 2016 press conference, PlayStation 4 gamers with a PS Plus subscription can download and play the Resident Evil 7 demo right now.
At Gamescom 2014, Hideo Kojima invited gamers to play the Silent Hills playable teaser P.T. as soon as the Sony press conference wrapped. This surprise demo release generated significant buzz for Silent Hills, and has since inspired a legion of imitation games. It appears as though Capcom has also been inspired by the success of the P.T. demo, as it has released a demo for the recently announced Resident Evil VII on the PlayStation Store in a similar fashion.
A demo for Resident Evil VII can be downloaded and played right now on PS4 by anyone with a PlayStation Plus subscription. Simply search for the game in the PlayStation Store, and download the demo, called Resident Evil 7 Teaser: The Beginning Hour. The demo is completely free of charge, but it's unclear at this time if it will actually be part of the game itself, or if it is a separate entity like P.T.
Something else unclear about the demo is if it will support PlayStation VR in October. After all, one of the main selling points of Resident Evil VII seems to be the fact that it can be played from beginning to end in virtual reality, and one would think that having that functionality for the demo would be important. This could require Capcom to update the demo after PlayStation VR releases, but it wouldn't be the first time that a demo for an upcoming game received an update.
Of course, Resident Evil VII's virtual reality and first-person viewpoint has been a source of contention by some series fans. While there are those that were impressed with the Resident Evil VII reveal at E3, and are excited to see the series go off in new directions, there are others that would rather the game play like a more traditional Resident Evil title.
Those fans will probably be addressed by Capcom with the Resident Evil 2 remake. It's presumed by many that the Resident Evil 2 remake will be modeled after the remake of the original Resident Evil, and that way Capcom can satisfy series veterans while also creating fresher experiences with the Resident Evil IP.
At any rate, it will be interesting to see how Resident Evil fans respond to the demo, and if it generates as much buzz as P.T. did a couple years ago. Let's just hope Resident Evil VII doesn't end up cancelled like Silent Hills, and that if this demo proves popular, horror fans won't be let down again.
Resident Evil VII will be available on January 24th, 2017 for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PlayStation VR.