Sports Interactive has revealed its demo line-up for Football Manager 2008. It consists of two tasters for both PC and Mac, each available from this Sunday morning.
The first is a "strawberry version" that has all the player mugshots, logos, and lets you quickstart in any of the world's biggest leagues. You'll be able to enjoy this in multiple languages, too.
Or you can download the more compact "vanilla version". This does away with the pictures, logos and foreign leagues, and focuses instead on the English tables so as to keep the demo size down.
SI is also keen to tell us it has French league licences this year, the Dutch national team licence, and those for Sampdoria and Fiorentina - who once sent my football team an entire replica kit because a friend's dad was Italian and used some tremendous smooth-talking powers to get it. Yes you did want to know that.
All of this coincides with new weekly blog updates about the game from Sports Interactive boss Miles Jacobson.
There have been three so far, kick started a couple of weeks ago with a look at the new gameplay. Running through details like varying pitch sizes affecting your tactics, it's clear there's much more depth this year than ever before - but new features like coach reports should help ease you into your managerial chair. For a closer look, head over to the gameplay blog.
Another area dissected was the shady business of transfers, bonuses and contracts. Eek. This year Miles Jacobson had a phonecall from a mysterious football agent asking him to pop over and natter about the game. On arrival he was told that all the players loved FM, but that it wasn't as accurate as it could be in the dotted line department. What followed was an in-depth run down of how it all works in real life, something SI has gone to great lengths to recreate. Eyeball the transfers, bonuses and contracts blog for more information.
News was the only other topic so far, an area that SI tries to expand each year to represent the massive media coverage the sport generates in many countries across the globe. Needless to say, then, that there are more options this year than you can shake a klaxon at, like being able to keep up to date with news not only about your team, but about all the others populating your league. Get over to that news blog to pick out the details.
We had a chance to get to grips with Football Manager 2008 recently, and predicted it would once again raise the genre bar. Catch up with our first impressions of Football Manager 2008 to see why.
A release date for Football Manager 2008 is yet to be finalised, although it will be out on PC before the end of the year. North American and South American versions will also be released.
Keep an eye on the official Football Manager 2008 website for the demo and new blog updates.