MLB The Show 21 is coming to PlayStation and Xbox later this month, a move that already does away with years of precedent set by Sony and their games exclusivity philosophy. Even more shocking was the announcement that MLB The Show 21 is launching day and date into Xbox Game Pass, making the title even more accessible for first-time Xbox players. Now, a new report from Inverse confirms what many of us feared, and ends many of the speculations circulating since the announcement: it was MLB that chose to bring MLB The Show 21 to Xbox, not Sony.
MLB The Show 21 is the first Sony-developed title to head to Xbox in this fashion, and its launch into Xbox Game Pass makes the event even more unique. Many gamers speculated that this may signal the beginning of the end for Sony’s decades-long approach to exclusive games on PlayStation, while others acknowledged that this decision was likely not in their hands. It seems the latter was true, as confirmed by a PlayStation representative to Inverse.
As part of the goal for this year’s game, MLB decided to bring the franchise to more players and baseball fans. This decision provides a unique opportunity to further establish MLB The Show as the premier brand for baseball video games.
MLB The Show 21 is heading to Xbox in an understandable effort to expand the reach of the franchise, likely mirroring the success that many other major sports franchises like Madden have found going cross-platform. Launching onto Xbox Game Pass is part of this push, as well, and exposes MLB The Show 21 to over 18 million Xbox Game Pass subscribers that may not have played the game otherwise.
This does have the unique side effect of making MLB The Show 21 more costly for PlayStation players to get into, as a one-time $70 purchase for one game on PlayStation turns into a $15 monthly subscription for access to hundreds of high-quality games and more on Xbox.
MLB The Show 21 launches on April 20, 2021 on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Xbox Game Pass. Even with MLB The Show 21’s debut on Xbox consoles, it’s almost certain that it’ll find a place on our list of best sports games for PlayStation when it launches.