Though it hasn’t been stated explicitly all signs point to the demo for MLB 10: The Show being absent from the PSN update today. SCEA has remained notably silent about the demo while the Playstation Blog today posted an article on the game advertising the opportunity to play the game at select Best Buy locations. (Update) Can now confirm there will be no downloadable pre-release demo.
Now, if this wasn’t The Show, I would be a lot more concerned. For the most part everyone knows what to expect with this game based on track record and a good flow of information. However the very reason why many remain comfortable with this release might be why a demo has been held back and why review copies haven’t gone out.
None of the improvements or additions this year are going to blow people away. The core of the game remains the same for the most part and will have a very familiar feeling. That isn’t to say it is a bad thing, it’s actually one of the reasons why the series has been so successful. However for the casual fans who play the demo they may not pick up on the nuances, while many of the additions wouldn’t be reflected in a demo anyway. Reviews may remain flat compared to last year as well for the same reasoning. New additions include All-Star features and a catcher mode in Road to the Show. Those things though are unlikely to inspire passion in reviewers.
The decision to hold off on a demo could also be related to the Best Buy promotion with a possible deal for exclusivity being reached. Best Buy certainly benefits more if they can have the game available at kiosks as the only way to play it pre-release. What would be most aggravating about this is the deal would have been struck a while back and after that point there would have been no plan to release the demo.
Otherwise I don’t see any reason why a demo should have been avoided and I especially am disappointed in how everyone has been strung along as they had suggested a demo was on the way and then avoided discussing the topic. The only way the situation makes sense is that SCEA is concerned with protecting sales rather than boosting them.