MLB '06 gets called to The Show

Sony steps up to plate with MLB '06: The Show for PSP, PS2; new modes, commentary engine join team.

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During baseball's offseason, which typically really gets rolling in November, some of the biggest moves and announcements are made. Just this past week, slugger Jim Thome signed with the World Series champion Chicago White Sox, RBI machine Carlos Delgado became a New York Met, and former Cy Young candidate Esteban Loaiza agreed to take the mound for the Oakland Athletics.

Not wanting to be left out of the wheeling and dealing, Sony made its own offseason news and announced MLB '06: The Show for the PSP and PlayStation 2. The game, like most baseball games, will lead off with the onset of the MLB season next spring.

Both the console and handheld versions of the game will add two new modes. A rivalry mode keeps track of stats between two teams that loath each other, and King of the Diamond mode pits batter versus pitcher in a minigame meant to accentuate the intensity of stepping in the batter's box or taking the mound. Additionally, a new commentary system featuring Rex "Wonder Dog" Hudler, Matt Vasgersian, and Dave Campbell will adapt to the situation on the field for realistic chatter.

The two editions will also have their own exclusive features. The Show for PS2 now includes 40-man rosters, a game time decisions feature, and deeper franchise and season modes. The PSP version adds legends of the game, a new career mode, and MLB news on the go.

Early this year, Take-Two swiped the third-party rights to Major League Baseball games, shutting out rival Electronic Arts from the baseball market. EA responded by announcing a college baseball game, MVP 06 NCAA Baseball, set for release early next year.

As it stands now, MLB '06 is the only MLB-licensed game from a first-party manufacturer. Nintendo had planned the GameCube-exclusive Pennant Chase Baseball, developed by the same crew that worked on World Series Baseball 2K3, but that game has since been lost in the minors. Microsoft has not yet announced any baseball game of its own.

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