MLB 09: The Show Full Details

Posted December 22nd, 2008 at 3:27 pm

Today SCEA officially announced MLB 09: The Show via press release along with the complete fact sheet. Though much about the game has already been revealed through previews they have summed up the main new features and gone into detail on more. Still to come is confirmation of Dustin Pedroia as the cover athlete which I would’ve expected that prior to all of this info.

Still the only disappointment for me is that is seems the video highlights won’t be uploadable which basically negates any use for them and there has been no mention of a screenshot function. There also hasn’t been anything said about how the game will tie into Home (if at all). Really though if they improve online play this has the potential to be one of the best sports games of all time.

I’ve added the first five screenshots to the gallery. Continue on for the bulk of the press release and fact sheet and leave your thoughts on what we know thus far of MLB 09: The Show in the comments.

MLB 09 The Show continues to set itself apart from the other MLB games on the market with its attention to detail and unparalleled gameplay. Looking to build on that reputation, the game has added several new features and subtleties that play a huge role in bringing the baseball experience to life. Incredible stadium detail and signage, wear and tear on the field, dusk to night lighting transitions, and stadium JumboTron animations help immerse users in the ultimate baseball experience.

The popular “Road to the Show” feature returns, giving fans the chance to play offense and defense and truly immerse themselves in gameplay from a custom-created player’s perspective. This year, Road to the Show includes interactive training and coaching as users navigate through a career that culminates with a shot at the big leagues. “Online Season Leagues” are also newly available, allowing fully functional drafts and providing players with a flex calendar to play games ahead in the schedule. Also back for PS3 and PlayStation 2 is “Franchise Mode,” complete with the long anticipated 40-man roster. In Franchise Mode, fans must think and act like an owner while dealing with issues such as salary arbitration, waiver transactions, and September call-ups along the way. However winning games isn’t the only thing that matters, as users must deal with clubhouse chemistry, roster management, and other issues that arise over the course of a season.

MLB 09 The Show brings back the ability to create custom music tracks using the “My MLB Music” feature. However for this year, players will be able to edit music tracks to assign batter walk-up tunes using the “Custom Music” feature. Additionally, fans can record their own customized chants and yells and integrate them seamlessly into the ambient crowd noise to create an even more personalized rivalry.

The popular “Pitcher/Batter Analysis” feature returns on MLB 09 The Show for PS3 and PSP, detailing the breakdown of how a batter has performed based on pitch type and result. The game offers up 17 different pitch types for players to master and MLB 09 The Show details the different pitch grips and arm angles that hitters must address. Players can also hone their skills using a wide variety of “Training/Practice” drills, with each set of drills focusing on a different area of the game. Utilizing the “Progressive Batting Performance” feature, players are rewarded for superior skills at the plate but are also penalized for hitting slumps.

Once users master the basics and create highlights of their own, they can save each dazzling play to the PS3 hard drive with the “Replay Vault” feature, where every key play in the field and clutch at-bat can be replayed at any time. Also new to the highlight system is “End of Game Replays” where users are given an instant post-game summary of the most exciting and important plays of the game.

For fans who want to take their game on the road, MLB 09 The Show for PSP delivers big baseball action in the palm of your hand by utilizing core gameplay features found on the PS3 version. Unique to PSP, MLB 09 The Show will feature “SportsConnect News2Go” which offers fans the ability to go online to select and save the latest news feeds to their Memory Stick Duo and review at their leisure.

Exclusive for PlayStation 2 is the unrivaled “Player Creator”, providing users with endless possibilities for creating players, including everything down to their player’s face with EyeToy(R). Users can also adjust their personal rituals, swings, and even emotions as they create and place themselves in the heat of a pennant race.


• Road to the Show 3.0 (All platforms) – Once again MLB 09 The Show is the only game where fans can play offense and defense from a custom-created player’s perspective. This year, Road to the Show includes interactive training, a new steal/ lead-off system, updated presentations, and coach interactions. Interactive training will consist of a set of mini-games designed to improve a player’s ability and performance in various areas of baseball.

• Franchise Mode 2.0 (PS3/PS2) – Adding to one of the deepest franchise modes available in any sports title, MLB 09 The show adds the long awaited 40-man roster. Franchise Mode improvements will offer Salary Arbitration, Waiver Transactions, and September call-ups.

• Online Season Leagues (PS3) – Online Season Leagues are now available, allowing players to hold fully functional drafts and utilize Flex Schedules, providing fans the opportunity to play games ahead in the schedule.

• Training/Practice Drills (PS3) – Players have the ability to choose from a number of different Training/Practice drills, providing players the chance to polish and improve existing skill sets.

• Details & Subtleties – As the leading MLB simulator, MLB 09 The Show takes pride in the details, with realistic stadiums and signage, wear and tear on field, dusk to night lighting transitions, and stadium Jumbotron animations. The crowd atmosphere is even more dynamic, where crowd rivalries and weather appropriate clothing are updated and fans will reach up for foul balls and home runs. (PS3)

• Additional Animations – MLB 09 The Show has boosted the number of overall animations with more than 700 new gameplay animations, more than 400 new presentation animations, and more than 150 personalized pitcher and batter animations.

• Custom Music, Fan Yells and Chants (PS3/PSP) – Using the “My MLB Music” feature, players can store their favorite music for play on MLB 09 The Show. Edit tracks to assign batter walk-up music or record your own voice and assign it to play for the player and situation of your choice.

• Replays to Hard Drive via Replay Vault (PS3) – Store highlight reel replays to your PS3 hard drive as a movie file, and enjoy the ability to playback clips at your leisure. Additionally, players can access an “end of game” replay to see the most exciting and important plays of the game.

• Mascots (PS3) – This year every team mascot is available, performing signature moves during each game to pump up the crowd and rally the team.

• Roster Vault (upload/download/rate) (Franchise) – Players can create the ideal roster offline by adjusting player attributes, appearance, accessories, etc. and save them to a Memory Card, Memory Stick, or PS3 Hard Drive. Once online, players can upload them to allow others users to download, use, and rate the roster.

• Updated Fielding Control – Fielders will now have more dynamic reactions and take different routes to run down hit balls. New “hotshot” plays are included, and depending on a player’s attribute level, they can misplay balls and drop a ball too hot to handle. Additionally, players can experience more realistic barehanded flips and the ability to dive with the ball in the fielder’s bare hand for the putout.

• Legend Mode – A fifth level of difficulty is now available for players seeking the ultimate challenge.

• Progressive Batting Performance – Reward players for superior performance and penalize them for hitting slumps. Specific to each individual batter, players are rewarded with contact bonuses for each batter that performs beyond his “natural ability” while under user control. Conversely, the user will be punished with slight decreases in contact for each batter that performs below his natural ability.

• Post Game/In Game Pitcher and Batter Analysis – Available both in-game, post-game, and throughout Road to the Show, the Pitch Analysis is a breakdown of all the pitches thrown during the current game being played. Gamers will be able sort by pitcher, LHB or RHB, pitch type and result. This feature is also available for Batters, and the batter analysis allows for a breakdown of how a batter has performed based on LHP or RHP, Pitch Type, and result.

• Pitch Grips – MLB 09 The Show details various pitch grips and arm angles that a pitcher has when throwing each pitch. 17 different pitch types including four fastball variations (four-seam, two-seam, cutter, split), six breaking pitches (10-4 curve, 12-6 curve, slider, sinker, slurve, screwball), four change-ups (straight, circle change, palmball, forkball), and three specialty pitches (knuckle, knuckle-curve, and Gyro).

• SCOUT [SportsConnect Online User Tracking] – SCOUT allows gamers to set their game preferences, stores them on the server, and then allows the system to look for a Quick Match with an opponent that fits their criteria.

• In-Game MLB Live Scores – Gamers will get up-to-date reports on what is going on in the Majors including scores and notable status, such as HRs, complete games, etc.

• Online League Play – Create leagues with up to 30 teams with full stat tracking, point benefits and rewards. Gamers can customize leagues including choosing players, teams, length of schedule, and much more. (Note: There are no cross platform leagues available.)

• SportsConnect Headline News – Stay on top of news around the league and receive all current happenings in sports today. Information is updated a few times each hour with news, trades, and events from 31 different feeds, each containing 25 unique items. Select General MLB headlines for updates from the entire league so news is not missed while online with MLB 09 The Show.

• Key modes – Rivalry, Career, Season, and All-Star game are once again available to provide players a chance to challenge friends or the Artificial Intelligence (AI) in a variety of settings.

• Multi-Branch Fielding – Branch Point Technology goes to a new level as gamers you can now take full control of fielders and break out of any animation in the process. Change a fielding decision and branch out of any animation after the first branch point.

• Adaptive Pitching Intelligence (API) – Catchers will call the game based on individual strengths and weaknesses of each pitcher and analyze tendencies of batters. Gamers will have the ability to trust the pitches called by the catcher or shake them off. (The catcher’s recommendations are based off of thousands of actual MLB® stats.)

• Pitch Command System (PCS) – A pitcher’s “pitch comfort” will be predetermined based on a best to worst pitch scenario. The more a player works on a pitch, the better it becomes, and the more a gamer neglects a pitch, the harder it becomes to work the zone.

• Release Point Pitching – Gamers must utilize a timing mechanism to learn and realize each pitchers pace and release point, which varies from pitcher to pitcher.

• Pitching Confidence Meter – The ultimate pitcher/batter interface returns. Additionally, Pitcher Confidence plays a role in a gamer’s ability to hit release points in the all-new pitch meter, while frequency of mistakes will impact the confidence level of a gamer’s hurler, making it more difficult to paint the corners of the strike zone.

• Guess Pitch – Baseball fans can attempt to master the ability to knock one out or hit the grounder to advance the runner by checking pitch history and correctly guessing which pitch and location that the pitcher will throw next. If a correct pitch is selected, the power attribute is increased to give the batter a higher chance of hitting one out of the park.

• PlayMaker Fielding – Based on fielding attributes, but it’s ultimately up to each player to decide how to play to each team’s strengths and weaknesses. Excellent fielders will track down the ball for you while sub-par fielders will require some concentration.

• My Sliders (Up/Downloadable) – The My Sliders option gives users the ability to create their perfect game settings offline by adjusting game sliders. Gamers can then save these adjustments to memory and, when online, upload to for other users to try and let the online community be the judge on finding the perfect game.

• Unrivaled Player Creator – An infinite amount of options for creating players including everything right down to your own face with EyeToy® (PS2 only). But it doesn’t stop there. You can also adjust your personal rituals, swings – even emotions as you create Mini-You.

• MLB® Player Motion Captures – MLB 09 The Show features authentically captured motions from dozens of professional athletes including David Wright, Ryan Howard, David Ortiz, and more.

• Revamped Umpire Personalities – Each umpire will have his own definition of the strike zone, and it’s up to the gamer to figure out if the umpire is calling the zone high, low, or giving the corners.

• 3-Man Booth & Progressive Commentary – Rex Hudler, Matt Vasgersian, and Dave Campbell return to provide the most comprehensive commentary available. Additionally, the game’s Progressive Commentary system changes dialogue by adapting to current actions and situations.