PlayStation looks set to bring its long-running MLB The Show baseball series to Xbox platforms this year.
That’s according to a leaked box art image (via credited leaker Anerdydad on Instagram) displaying The Show 21 for Xbox One, complete with a PlayStation Studios logo brandished alongside the rival Microsoft branding.
It was first announced in December 2021 that the previously exclusive PlayStation franchise would be coming to “additional console platforms” for the first time, as part of a multi-year extension to Sony’s video games licensing deal.
A joint statement from Major League Baseball and Sony Interactive Entertainment said the multi-platform release would happen “as early as 2021”. While no specific platforms were mentioned, both Nintendo and Xbox retweeted the news.
While Sony has recently explored publishing games on non-PlayStation platforms – releasing several PC ports on the Epic Games Store – The Show would represent PlayStation Studios’ first release for rival consoles.
The PlayStation Studios brand was unveiled last summer and will be used on all games developed and managed by Sony.
In comparison, Microsoft has shown far more willingness to release its titles on other console platforms in recent years. To date, it’s published Minecraft on multiple formats, released Cuphead and Ori for Nintendo Switch, and put Banjo-Kazooie in Smash Bros.
Later this year the Xbox firm will publish Psychonauts 2 for PlayStation platforms, while Bethesda titles Ghostwire Tokyo and Deathloop will remain timed PS5 exclusives after the company agreed to be acquired by Microsoft.
However, there are some signs that Sony could more actively pursue a cross-platform strategy in the future. In a corporate report published last summer, Sony said it would explore bringing more PlayStation exclusives to PC, following Horizon Zero Dawn’s release on the platform.
As well as Horizon, former PlayStation 4 exclusives Death Stranding and Detroit: Become Human also released for PC last summer, after their exclusivity deals expired.
Mark Healey, a co-founder of Sony owned studio Media Molecule, told VGC last year that a PC version of Dreams wasn’t in development, but that it would be “great” to release one in the future.
Sony’s head of worldwide studios Herman Hulst claimed on the PlayStation Blog in March 2020 that PC ports of PlayStation exclusives would remain an exception.
“And to maybe put a few minds at ease, releasing one first-party AAA title to PC doesn’t necessarily mean that every game now will come to PC,” he said.
“In my mind, Horizon Zero Dawn was just a great fit in this particular instance. We don’t have plans for day and date [PC releases], and we remain 100% committed to dedicated hardware.”
Sony’s corporate report also said PlayStation plans to accelerate the release of first-party games and signalled it’s open to acquiring more studios.
Related Forum: Xbox Forum