Here we are... almost a full week after the stated release of the 360 version of the Prey demo, and still we have no Prey to play. Initially, we were comforted by the softly murmured coos issuing from developer 3D Realms' honcho George Broussard via their forums and his first post on June 21 that stated simply:
"We do not want 360 people waiting up for the demo or having false expectations. The 360 demo will not appear on Marketplace tonight. I'm still waiting for specifcs, but I'm being told that it's still in testing at Microsoft. From what I understand this isn't Microsoft's fault, and is more likely just an issue of timing."
Now, however, it is June 28 and we're still wondering where our 360 Prey demo is. Unfortunately, it would seem that 3D Realms is wondering just as hard as we are as they continue to await word from Microsoft regarding the demo's certification.
The typically amiable Broussard got a little frustrated by the delay back on June 26 and posted a rather terse comment (seemingly aimed directly at Microsoft):
"I wish I had some news for you, but I do not. Nobody is telling us anything. If someone from Microsoft wants to contact me, feel free."
Even 3D Realms' normally pleasant webmaster Joe Siegler began to buckle under the crushing weight of hundreds of forum posts demanding either the demo or an explanation:
"Again. If we knew something, we'd tell you. We're as much in the dark as you are, and we're not terribly happy about it. What the heck more do you want us to say? Do you think we're sitting on our asses doing nothing waiting to hear news? We're trying to find out, constantly. We're not getting any info." - It should be noted that this post was accompanied by an emoticon featuring a small, red frowny-face beating its head against a brick wall.
This issue has reached such heated debate on the 3D Realms forums that it has spilled onto Xbox Live Director of Programming Larry Hryb's blog (better known as Major Nelson). Major Nelson posted a thoughtful note touching on the ambiguity and downright flakiness of release dates, but sadly had no new information on when the demo would be ready. The post did contain a phrase that bears reprinting here, just because it seems so intensely appropriate for the situation: "manage your expectations."
We're trying to manage our expectations... but we'd really rather play the new Prey demo on 360, but with no new information coming from Microsoft - GamesRadar's own attempts to discuss the situation met with a cold shoulder - it appears we'll be managing our expectations for at least a few more days.
June 28, 2006