The wait is over for baseball-loving Xbox gamers: the next installment of MLB The Show – the sole baseball sim on the market since 2014 – is releasing for Xbox One and Series X/S on April 20.
When it comes to baseball sims, Xbox gamers had been left in the dust for the past six years — the last baseball sim to release on Xbox was MLB 2K13 for the Xbox 360. Since then, Xbox gamers had to settle for R.B.I. Baseball and the Super Mega Baseball series, which are not necessarily bad games in their own right.
However, they are not the baseball games fans had been looking for as the aforementioned franchises were more arcade-styled rather than simulation based. That said, Xbox fans will not have to wait long for a baseball sim to arrive as it has been announced that MLB The Show 21 is releasing for Xbox gamers this April.
In an update, San Diego Studios announced that for the first time in the franchise’s history, it will be available on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S. Prior to 2021, MLB The Show was a PlayStation exclusive.
Much like previous games, this installment features “Road to the Show,” the series’ career mode; “Diamond Dynasty,” The Show’s version of NBA 2K’s “MyTeam” game mode; along with updates to the “Franchise” and “March to October” modes, which are series staples.
Not only can Xbox players now enjoy a baseball sim again, they can also cross play against PlayStation players as well. Additionally, cross-progression is available, allowing players to earn and use content on whatever console generation they desire.
The standard edition will cost $59.99 USD for the Xbox One and $69.99 USD for the Xbox Series X/S. The standard edition is also available for pre-orders.
On the flip side, there will also be Collector’s Editions available. The Collector’s Editions will feature Jackie Robinson on the cover and will come in two versions: the Jackie Robinson Edition and the Jackie Robinson Deluxe Edition. The former retails for $84.99 and will come as a limited edition steel book while the latter retails for $99 and comes with a New Era cap adorned with MLB The Show along with said steel book.
Those that purchase the Collector’s Editions will have a four-day head start, allowing them to play on April 16. However, it is important to note that there will be no upgrade path from the current gen version of the game to the next gen if players purchase the standard edition — it is only available with the Collector Editions.
PlayStation and San Diego Studios have also announced that for every MLB The Show 21 Collector’s Edition sold in the United States, PlayStation will donate $1 to the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF.) The donations will support the JRF’s mission in narrowing the achievement gap in higher education.
After the tumultuous year the United States had regarding racial inequality, Robinson being chosen to grace the two Collector’s Edition’s made sense. The first player to break baseball’s color barrier as well as the first African American inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, Robinson is one of the most iconic American athletes in history for his work in progressing African American standings in American society.
On the flip side, San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. graces the cover on the standard edition. Tatis Jr. is the son of former MLB player Fernando Tatis Sr., the only player to hit two grand slams in one inning against Chan Ho Park of the Los Angeles Dodgers. By all accounts, Tatis Jr. is one of MLB’s youngest and brightest stars, often hammering home runs and performing dazzling defensive plays.
In all, this is a very welcome sight for Xbox gamers and some PlayStation gamers who can now play with their friends cross platform. Regardless of platform, expect MLB The Show 21 to perform well across the board.