After 22 years of exclusivity, baseball series "MLB The Show" is now expected to arrive on Xbox and Nintendo consoles as well as PlayStation "as early as 2021." Will Sony PlayStation continue developing and distributing the franchise, just as Microsoft Xbox did with "Minecraft"?
The Major League Baseball association and Sony Interactive Entertainment have announced that their existing partnership will continue thanks to "multi-year extensions to continue development and distribution of 'MLB The Show'."
Despite that, and the franchise's lifelong history of being developed by Sony's internal game studios, the series is also being prepared for distribution on "additional console platforms beyond PlayStation platforms."
The MLB did not name Xbox and Nintendo in its joint announcement. Instead, it integrated subsequent approving tweets from Xbox and Nintendo of America into its public write-up.
It's not yet clear whether development and distribution will stay within PlayStation division Sony Interactive Entertainment. "Complete details will be announced at a later date," read the official statement.
The announcement comes on the day that Xbox-owned "Minecraft" is finally able to roll out its mainline Bedrock Edition on PlayStation 4, connecting players with those on Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android, and Windows 10 PCs.
Xbox owner Microsoft acquired "Minecraft" in a 2014 deal worth $2.5bn and continued to make it available on console and mobile platforms other than its own, allowing it to introduce a unified Microsoft Account system to the enormously popular game's worldwide community.
In the meantime, "MLB The Show 20," anticipated for March 2020, is to commemorate 15 years since the franchise added "The Show" suffix and switched development to Sony's San Diego Studio.
New PlayStation and Xbox consoles are to be released in late 2020, in time for what could be "MLB The Show"'s first year of multi-platform availability in 2021.
Another well-received baseball game, "Super Mega Baseball 2," released across PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC in May 2019. Its cross-platform multiplayer was expanded in September to allow PlayStation players to play with not only PC players but also those on Nintendo and Xbox.