The first things that you'll be aware of from the moment each disc gets popped in are the visuals and audio. While both titles look great, there is definitely an edge that goes out to The Show
because not only do the uniforms look better, but the animations are absolutely beautiful. The transitions from one motion to another are spot-on, unlike that of 2K
's unfortunate popping. When it comes to audio, there is a mixed bag for each of the games. Both have forgettable Menu music, but the sound fx in-game for both are quite nice. Similarly, the commentary works well in both titles, but 2K10
's dynamic commentary is near-perfect, making the TV-style presentation even better than ever.
From a gameplay standpoint, both titles are actually very, very similar. Both have game modes that directly compete with each other, from Season and Franchise modes right down to the included Home Run Derby. Both titles also have a strangely similar main feature where you'll be able to take a created player from the Minor League into the Majors. The Show's Road to the Show has been around longer, so it has been a bit more battle tested, but 2K's My Player has been set up really well also. All said, players are going to enjoy each in its own right, so there's really no separation between the two titles.
Where the two actually differ is in gameplay mechanics. The Show's controls revolve more around button-clicks while 2K10's controls focus on using the Right Analog Stick to control both pitching and hitting. In fact, it is this difference that will likely stray gamers one way or another more than anything else. My personal hands-on thought is that from a pitching standpoint, I preferred the amount of control involved in MLB 2K10. Having to move the stick in precise, yet simple, movements (for example, up-down or up-semicircle) gave a feeling of precision. When combined with the Left Analog Stick's aiming, one could purposely even throw an intentionally "flawed" pitch (say, not enough power) in the general area that you want based on the batter you're facing. On the flip side, The Show's power/accuracy golf-style meter may have been easier to grasp, but the inconsistent speed of the meter and difficulty when it comes to accuracy implied a lack of true control. Both titles did a great job of adding pitching difficulty during moments of stress by taking away the visual aiming cues to rattle the man on the mound.