After years on PlayStation MLB, The Show hits the Xbox Game Pass at launch
The former PlayStation exclusive is a major coup for Microsoft's subscription service.
It's been more than a year since Sony first announced that it would launch the previously exclusive MLB series The Show for PlayStation on Xbox in 2021. Today, Microsoft announced even better news for baseball fans who own an Xbox: MLB The Show 21 will be included in the Xbox Game Pass subscription on its launch day on April 20.
The move means that more than 18 million Game Pass subscribers will get free access to the game on Xbox One and Xbox Series X / S or on Android phones via xCloud streaming. This creates some embarrassment for PlayStation owners, who will have to pay individually for a game developed by Sony San Diego and published by Sony, which many Xbox subscribers will include in their subscription fee.
This is particularly notable because Sony has its own PlayStation Now subscription service, which doesn't get MLB The Show on launch day (at least for now). On the other hand, PlayStation Now has famously struggled for a while to match the hype of the "first day" Game Pass, especially when it comes to third-party software. Sony's recent "Play From Home" initiative and the PlayStation Plus collection have opened up access to some games published by Sony recently, but they, too, revolve around outdated software.
MLB The Show also makes major sports games a key part of the Xbox Game Pass value proposition. NBA 2K21 and Madden 21 will appear in the subscription service on March 4, and NHL 21 will appear in the Game Pass in April. However, these games were available for several months before becoming part of the subscription service, making MLB The Show's launch-day availability on Game Pass even more prominent.
"As we've said from the beginning, this is an incredible moment for all of us, and we at MLB, MLB Players, Inc., and Xbox are very excited to introduce this franchise to more baseball players and fans," Microsoft said in its announcement today. "We can't wait for Xbox fans to experience the fastest, deepest, and most intense baseball games."
Sony's MLB franchise The Show has been an exclusive platform for sale since the days of the original PlayStation when it was simply called MLB '98. The series was the only MLB-licensed baseball simulation video game since 2K Sports announced the end of the MLB2K series in early 2014.
"This is a very exciting moment for all of us, as the legendary franchise will be available to more players than ever before," Sony said in February when it officially confirmed the Xbox versions of the game. "We would like to thank everyone at PlayStation, Xbox, Major League Baseball, Major League Baseball Players Association, and San Diego Studio for their hard work in making MLB The Show available to more users."
Last year, the former PlayStation Horizon exclusives: Zero Dark and Death Stranding were released on PC, the latter of which was published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. Meanwhile, Microsoft recently confirmed that at least "some" of Bethesda's upcoming games will be exclusive to Xbox and PC consoles after being acquired by the publisher for $ 7.5 billion.