Sony Interactive Entertainment and Major League Baseball are extending their long-term deal to continue developing MLB The Show, the league’s officially licensed simulation video game. But there’s a very important twist to their deal now: MLB The Show will no longer be PlayStation-exclusive. The series is coming to other, as-yet-unconfirmed console platforms.
In a news release, Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players Association, Sony Interactive Entertainment, and developer SIE San Diego Studio announced an unspecified multiyear extension of their long-standing partnership. They also confirmed that MLB The Show will appear on consoles “beyond PlayStation platforms as early as 2021.”
While the league, its players’ association, and Sony didn’t specify which non-PlayStation platforms would soon be home to MLB The Show, both the official Xbox and Nintendo of America Twitter accounts tweeted about the deal, hinting that future MLB The Show video games would come to those companies’ platforms. It is unclear whether SIE San Diego would itself develop non-PlayStation versions of the games.
SIE’s San Diego Studio has been developing officially licensed MLB video games exclusively on PlayStation platforms for more than 20 years, starting with MLB ’98 on the original PlayStation. The MLB The Show brand has been active since 2006, with MLB 06: The Show for PlayStation 2 and PSP.
MLB The Show has been the only traditional simulation baseball series in existence for many years, leaving owners of non-PlayStation consoles without any options. Its main competition, 2K Sports’ MLB 2K franchise, ended in 2014 following the previous year’s release of Major League Baseball 2K13 on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The last entry in the franchise on a Nintendo platform was Major League Baseball 2K12, on Nintendo DS.
Instead, MLB Advanced Media has been publishing its own multiplatform baseball video game since 2014, when it revived the R.B.I. Baseball series with R.B.I. Baseball 14. While the R.B.I. games are available on Nintendo Switch and Xbox One as well as PlayStation 4, they are not considered (or intended to be) a true simulation baseball competitor to Sony’s MLB The Show titles.
Next year’s entry, MLB The Show 20, potentially the final PlayStation-exclusive entry, is scheduled to be released March 17, 2020, on PS4 and will feature Chicago Cubs star Javier Báez as its cover athlete.