As the Xbox One’s time as a current-gen system winds down it could end without a true MLB simulation. There has been a surprising MLB simulation video game announcement that may save the Xbox One from going without. Could the game be released before the next-gen systems? Will the Xbox One lose current-gen status before releasing an MLB simulation? What about previous baseball games on the Xbox consoles?
MLB 2k13 was the last true MLB simulation to be released on a Microsoft console. The release was way back on March 3rd, 2013. Unfortunately for the Xbox One, it was released only on the Xbox 360. You can play this game on the Xbox One today thanks to backward compatibility, however, it wasn’t initially released on the Xbox One and therefore we won’t count it. When one MLB game trailed off another rose to the occasion, RBI Baseball. RBI Baseball 14 was released April 9th, 2014, a bit over a year after the final MLB game in the 2k series. The game itself left many things to be desired and its unrealistic gameplay was a major part of it. From the sound of a bat hitting the ball to the noise of a falling popfly makes as it floats down from the sky the game was clearly designed to be an arcade game. Beyond the aspect of realism, the game missed the mark set for modern sports games for the variety of game modes gamers expect. Gamers expect the career mode where you create a player and play your way to the major leagues. How could a baseball game be so short-sighted to miss an opportunity for a team-building mode centered around purchasing baseball cards? The one true upside to this game is the updated MLB rosters and MLB Licensing. Anyhow, all criticisms aside this game has provided the Xbox community it’s only opportunity to play the game of baseball with the players and teams they adore for the last 6 years. This game was created intentionally as an arcade game and cannot be fairly compared to the likes of MLB 2k or MLB The Show as it has served its purpose. This means it has already been 6 years since a Microsoft Console has had a real up to date MLB Simulation game and not one has been released on the Xbox One.
However, something unexpected has come out of the baseball winter meetings in San Diego. News broke on December 9th, 2019 that the MLB had reached a “Multi-year extension to continue development and distribution of MLB The Show”. Later in the press release from @MLB_PR, it was announced that as early as 2021 MLB The Show could be released on “Platforms beyond Playstation”. This Means that MLB The Show is being expanded to other consoles and will no longer be a Playstation exclusive. Microsoft and Nintendo may finally have MLB simulations on their consoles. However, this doesn’t eliminate the imminent danger of the Xbox One going completely without an MLB simulation game. The Next-Gen Microsoft and Sony Consoles are slated to release in the winter of 2020. Even if an MLB Simulation releases in the spring of 2021 it will be on the next-gen console.
In short, if MLB The Show 20 doesn’t release in the Xbox One it’s time as the Current-Gen console will come to a close without an MLB simulation. I certainly don’t expect the game designers to go out of their way to release a game on the Xbox One when the Next-Gen consoles are so close to their release. It does seem very likely that the Xbox One will come and go without an MLB simulation. However, the news that MLB The Show will be coming to other video gaming platforms is something to be excited about going into the future gen of gaming.