For fans of simulation baseball video games, MLB: The Show is pretty much the only major baseball series around. That exclusivity was narrowed when the series was a PlayStation first-party game, meaning only PlayStation owners had access to the MLB game.
This year, however, MLB The Show 21 will release on Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One, marking the first release to the Xbox platform in the franchise’s history.
The deal is even sweeter for Xbox owners with an Xbox Game Pass subscription, as Xbox dropped a bombshell of an announcement.
FORMER PLAYSTATION EXCLUSIVE FRANCHISE NOW INCLUDED WITH XBOX GAME PASS
In a blog post on Xbox Wire, Xbox announced that MLB The Show 21 will come to Xbox Game Pass on the game’s release date of April 20, 2021.
Game Pass subscribers will be able to play the game on Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One at no additional cost beyond the service’s monthly subscription fee. Game Pass Ultimate subscribers will also be able to play the game on Android phones and tablets through Xbox Cloud Gaming.
MLB Senior Vice President of Games & VR Jamie Leece wrote that cross-platform play will allow players to “use content across the platform and generation you choose:”
“We’re delighted to announce that MLB The Show 21 is coming to Xbox Game Pass on day one and will be available on April 20 for Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One, as well as on Android phones and tablets via Xbox Cloud Gaming (Beta) for Ultimate members. Both MLB The Show 21 Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S Standard Editions will be included with Xbox Game Pass so members will be able to play the best version of the game regardless of which console they’re on. And with cross-platform play and progress, you can play against others online, and earn and use content across the platform and generation you choose.”
FORMER PLAYSTATION EXCLUSIVE FINDS A NEW HOME ON GAME PASS
In a bizarre twist of fate, the once exclusive PlayStation franchise is available to Game Pass subscribers on Xbox platforms.
For baseball fans looking for a place to play the only simulation baseball game around, Xbox just made the best pitch to migrate to its platform. Instead of a full $60-$70 retail price, the game will be included with the $10-$15 Game Pass subscription on Xbox consoles.
The game is still technically a PlayStation first-party title. Sand Diego Studio, which is owned by Sony Interactive Entertainment, is developing MLB The Show 21. It's safe to say that no one thought a PlayStation first-party developed game would ever come to Xbox, nor would it be perhaps best played on the rival console.
After so many years without a major baseball title, Xbox is now arguably the best place to play MLB The Show 21. Game Pass has been a major policy for the brand, and this decision could push some sports gamers toward considering Xbox over PlayStation.
Games released day and date on Game Pass aren’t “free” by any means (there is a monthly subscription fee, after all), but the ability to play an ever-expanding catalog of games at any moment is quite the incentive to join the Xbox ecosystem.
Game Pass has been one of the greatest deals in gaming for some time, and it seems to keep getting better. New third-party games, like Outriders and now MLB The Show 21, join Xbox first-party behemoths like Halo and Gears of War. With Microsoft’s acquisition of ZeniMax Media now in the books, Bethesda games like The Elder Scrolls and Fallout also bolster Game Pass' already impressive lineup of games.