MLB The Show expanding to other consoles beginning in 2021

Posted December 9th, 2019 at 7:30 pm

In an extremely unusual late night announcement Major League Baseball has made massive gaming news as Sony’s MLB The Show series is going multi-platform beginning in 2021.

Based on reaction already made publicly by Microsoft and Nintendo it seems it’ll will make its way onto Xbox and Switch and likely PC too with the release of MLB The Show 21.

Even just a few years ago the idea of MLB The Show going multi-platform instead of PlayStation exclusive (from a Sony-owned studio) would have been laughed off. The industry has shifted dramatically however and now it is more lucrative to get games in the hands of as many people as possible to generate as much digital revenue as possible.

Publishers like SCEA can make more money off modes such as Diamond Dynasty than selling the games themselves while in the case of hardware manufacturers the allure of the “console seller” may not be perceived as important as it once was. The Show was just that for the PS4 at the start of this last generation and could have been again with the PS5.

Xbox has been gutted as a platform for baseball fans. Everyone with interest in baseball knew they had to pick up a PS4. That’s a big reason why EA Sports never came back with MVP Baseball. There weren’t enough potential sales to go around to cover how much it would cost to develop the series from near scratch and compete with an established product.

It makes sense then that MLB The Show which is fully established and recognized as an excellent series would instead expand. It’s a product that the league is proud to be associated with even while they continue to produce the awful RBI Baseball series themselves. From MLB’s side of the business it was damaging to have multiple gaming platforms essentially absent of the league’s presence while other leagues saw their products thrive.

As far as Nintendo goes, in 2021 the series will be making its debut on the next-generation. The Switch then will probably be relegated to a downgraded version of what will be released that year on the PS4. There doesn’t appear to be much of a market for sim baseball on Switch – other much larger sim titles like NBA 2K and FIFA haven’t even found much success there – but it’s still an untapped market where development resources required won’t be extensive.