No PS3 Demo for MLB 14: The Show

Posted March 24th, 2014 at 11:30 am


With release of MLB 14: The Show on PS3 and Vita just a week away it’s now been confirmed that there will be no pre-release demo. The news should come as no surprise given SCEA’s recent track record with the series however circumstances that are far different than a typical year could have changed that. 

The lack of a demo makes it four out of the last five years that the company has chosen not to release one. It’s atypical within the genre but baseball may not be well suited for one. The changes year-to-year tend to be substantial yet subtle or situational making compressed experiences seem indistinguishable for some from the previous year’s version.

Two of the new features though would have been well-suited for the demo and potentially reached consumers who wouldn’t generally buy a baseball game. Quick Counts and Player Lock were designed to offer alternatives to the traditional way to play that will shorten the length of games. That time investment has dissuaded enough people that sales of baseball games have generally been limited to a niche hardcore segment of fans unlike other sports which have branched out to appeal to a more casual crowd as well. Rolling out the ability to use the two features in a demo would have made the game feel different and also let those on the fence determine if they were appealing enough to change their frame of mind and buy this year.

A demo could also have nudged some consumers who have both and plan to wait for the PS4 version to first buy on the PS3. It’s easy enough to think that waiting the five week period between the two makes the most sense but getting to play the game may have made that stretch seem more difficult. There is still no word on any sort of “trade-up” promotion from either SCEA or retailers and now only a couple days remain where one could be announced.

In the end fans of the series have a level of confidence in the upcoming product that makes a demo potentially unnecessary for them. That doesn’t account for the casual crowd that may not buy every year or may have turned away from baseball due to a number of factors. The next question then becomes whether the PS4 will see a demo out before the game is released there. Showcasing it would make a lot of sense – particularly as a console selling point given the lack of a competitor on the Xbox One – but the company could also make the same justifications as they have in the past five years and instead choose not to release one.