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R.B.I. Baseball returns for another season on consoles, PC

Still the only MLB-licensed game on Xbox One

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

R.B.I. Baseball, the franchise Major League Baseball took over and rebooted in 2014, is returning with a third edition this spring and promising a robust series of upgrades and additional features.

R.B.I. Baseball 16 will launch on PlayStation 4, Mac and Windows PC and Xbox One, with a separate version for mobile devices. It will again be the only MLB-licensed video game on Xbox One for the coming year.

The announcement from MLB Advanced Media notes that a batch simulation feature will be added to R.B.I. 16's season mode, allowing players to skip ahead to the postseason. Lineup modifications and both a team's real-life 40-man roster and the 16-player limited roster the R.B.I. franchise has typically used also will be supported.

Improvements to the game's defensive, batting and baserunning systems also are promised, as well as a reworked pitching AI to make computer-controlled pitch selection truer to life. MLB's 30 ballparks, introduced last year, also receive upgraded visuals. The stats tracking and online play that debuted in the 2015 edition also return.

Though R.B.I. Baseball 16 is a digital-only release, MLB still named a cover star for the latest edition — the Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts, who had a breakout season in 2015. Betts' initials, as the release notes, are also MLB and, among other things, he's an avid bowler, winning a statewide honor for the sport in his native Tennessee.

R.B.I. Baseball 16 will be $19.99 on consoles and PCs, $4.99 on mobile devices.

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