There are a few major questions floating around ahead of the release of the upcoming MLB The Show 23. One of the biggest and most obvious is: when will the game be released? Most fans know when to expect it in general, but the exact date is usually a mystery until sometime in early Winter–which officially begins this week.
Another question is about the platform availability.
MLB The Show 21 and 22 changed the series from a Sony exclusive to a multi-platform release, but up to recently, there wasn’t a concrete indication the series would continue to be available for platforms outside of Sony’s family of systems.
Lastly, and more broad-sweeping, there are discussions about potential new features. I’ve been doing some digging, reading and discussing answers to those questions.
Here’s what I’ve come up with as we move closer to official announcements.
MLB The Show 23 Release Date – Most Logical Range
The release date of the past two games may have been affected by the pandemic and the series’ expansion to other consoles like Xbox and the Nintendo Switch. MLB The Show 21 released April 16th, 2021 on early access. MLB The Show 22 was a little earlier on April 5th, 2022.
Considering the pandemic isn’t impacting the MLB season as it did back in 2021, nor is it affecting game development the way it did 18-24 months ago, it is logical to expect the series could return to its more customary release schedule which is closer to mid-March.
Operation Sports’ Cory Dell pointed out a few other key points and reasons to expect The Show 23 to release a bit earlier than its last two predecessors. Dell calls out the end of The Show 22’s post-release content calendar, which came to a halt on December 1 when The Forever Program was released.
The post-release content calendar for MLB The Show 21 ended in January 2022. This could indicate the team is ramping up an earlier release for the upcoming version, which is logical considering that is also closer to the previous title release range.
Dell’s “bold prediction” is that MLB The Show 23 will release on March 10 for early access and March 14 worldwide. If he is off, it will likely only be by a week or so. Keep an eye out for March 17 with March 21 as the worldwide release date.
What Systems Will MLB The Show 23 Be Released On?
According to a document from Brazil’s Ministry of Justice and Public SecurityMLB The Show 23 is slated to be available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and Nintendo Switch.
Information like this often leaks from national retail governing organizations outside the United States and domestically. While it cannot be called indisputable proof of MLB The Show 23’s platform availability, it is a logical and strong hint that the series will mirror the availability it had for its last release.
It is unlikely Sony will move away from Xbox availability anytime soon. The launch of The Show on Xbox was credited with massively boosting the game’s sales in 2021and in 2022, The Show 22 was among the 10 highest-selling titles year-to-date in November 2022, per VentureBeat. It was fourth, per VentureBeatas of November 2021.
What New Features Should MLB The Show 23 Fans Expect?
For the more hardcore users in the MLB The Show community, a good portion of the conversation is related to new or potentially returning features. Gameplay fanatics—especially those on the competitive landscape—want less of the randomness that can occur in real baseball games and more control over every part of the game.
Sony is challenged with delivering two different experiences or hearing the consistent complaints from the people in the community who don’t want to be penalized by real-sport happenstance.
Franchise mode fans are longing for the return of carry-over saves (rosters and seasons). Others also want a deeper franchise experience with some of the same functionality we see in titles like NBA 2K. That upgrade would include the potential return of an online franchise mode. Some want multiple users to have the option to play through an entire season with the same level of team control that a single user has in the mode’s current form.
As for the uber-popular Diamond Dynasty mode, the extensions and new features are likely to be small, yet potentially impacting. A salary cap mode is essential–at least for some gamers. The grind and card collection concepts are fun and incredibly addicting. However, the last two years I have stopped playing the mode earlier than before.
I’ve found myself card-chase drunk and hungover because of the redundancy and saturation of high-rated cards in everyone’s lineups. The cards don’t have enough differentiation and each Ranked Season contest begins to look like a battle of what some would call “God Squads.”
There is a place for that brand of competition in DD, but I long for a more structured and restrained version where only a small amount of high-rated cards are allowed in a lineup. Ideally, a system similar to Ranked Seasons with exclusive rewards, banners and badges would be added as an incentive.
The more measured approach is a blast in Battle Royale, and I contend there is room for a similar experience in a competitive structure that functions like Ranked Seasons.
Expect to learn more about the nuts and bolts associated with MLB The Show 23 sometime soon. By the way, if we’re looking for a solid prediction for cover athlete for the next game, mark me down for the Seattle Mariners’ Julio Rodriguez.
Sony has been tabbing young, charismatic and popular players (Shohei Ohtani, Fernando Tatis, Javier Baez, Bryce Harper, Aaron Judge) to be the face of their game in recent years. Rodriguez, 21, just won American League Rookie of the Year after hitting .284 with 28 HR, 75 RBI and 25 stolen bases. So just signed a 12-year, $209.3 million deal.
He checks all of the boxes. stay tuned