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MLB 14 The Show: News on New Features, Console Availability and Cover Athlete

image from Sony
image from Sony
Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIJanuary 3, 2017

Baseball season just ended. The Boston Red Sox are World Series champions and every other team has to wait until next year to seek their own championship dreams. Around the same time real-life pitchers and catchers report to spring training, a new version of the award-winning video game baseball series MLB The Show will be hitting the shelves.

MLB 14 The Show is due out this spring for the Playstation 4, Playstation 3 and Playstation Vita. For fans of the series, this is very exciting news. Not only will the game be available for a next-generation console, but it'll give gamers who aren't quite ready to upgrade to the PS4 another year to play the game that has been the top baseball simulation on the market for the past five to seven years.

Check out the teaser trailer:


The Cover Vote

ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 27:  2013 honouree Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers speaks during the 2013 Hank Aaron Award press conference prior Game Four of the 2013 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on Oct
Elsa/Getty Images

Last year, Sony held a cover vote and allowed fans to choose the superstar who would grace the cover. Pittsburgh Pirates superstar Andrew McCutchen won the vote, but this year, Sony approached the prestigious honor in a different way.

The cover athlete for MLB 14 The Show was selected by other major leaguers. In fact, every player in the league had an opportunity to nominate one player. As was announced on the MLB Players Choice Awards  Monday, Detroit Tigers star Miguel Cabrera was the winner.

Who could argue with this selection? Cabrera won the Triple Crown in 2012, he's an eight-time All-Star and he won the American League MVP in 2012. If there is anyone who is deserving of the honor, it is Cabrera.

Obviously, the big questions regarding any next-gen sports game is what new features are in store, and what are the visual upgrades. While all of the details aren't available just yet, there is some information available on the newest version of the game.

Here's what we know and what we've seen so far. First, the eye candy.


Visual Improvements

Check out these comparisons of MLB 13 The Show on PS3 and the upcoming MLB 14 The Show on PS4. Take a look at the visual improvements to Fenway Park's famed Green Monster.

On PS3:

image from Sony
image from Sony

On PS4:

image from Sony
image from Sony

On PS3:

image from Sony
image from Sony

On PS4:

image from Sony
image from Sony

On PS3:

image from Sony
image from Sony

On PS4

image from Sony
image from Sony

With improvements like that on structures, raise your hand if you can't wait to see what the actual players will look like. The extra power provided by the PS4 allows for the series' new lighting engine to create even more realistic environments.

Shading was already a strong suit of the series on the PS3, so with the extra juice under the hood in the PS4, the prospects for visual excellence are exciting. Look forward to a new level of texturing. The PS4 boasts 8GB of DDR5, which is a drastic increase from the available memory on the PS3.

Graphics are certainly nice, but what about new features? Here's just a few that have been revealed.


New Features

Finally...We Can Carry over Saves

Yes, you read that correctly. The most long overdue feature in the genre of sports video games has finally been given to gamers. MLB 14 The Show will be the first game to allow gamers to carry over their saves from one version to the next.

Unfortunately, this won't help you continue your franchises, seasons or Road to the Show saves from MLB 13 The Show, but from MLB 14 The Show on, you'll be able to pick up where you left off.

This is so awesome, it is hard to put it into words. Baseball is a long season. Many gamers don't even bother playing 162 games because they want to get through as many seasons as possible before the next version is released. With this feature, there won't be a rush.

All the history you create in your virtual world of baseball can be carried over to the next version of the series in franchise, season or Road to the Show modes. Sony's San Diego Studios are the pioneers of this feature, but hopefully it catches on and becomes standard in all of our favorite sports gaming series.


Still Want to Speed the Game Up

Just as a baseball season can be long, so too can be an actual game. In MLB 14 The Show, gamers who don't want to play a full nine innings can utilize the Quick Count options to speed up the action.

A count is generated for each at-bat and gamers will pick up from there, which can essentially limit every at-bat to as little as one pitch. With this option, statistical accuracy is maintained, which is always a concern for simulation heads.


Road to the Show Enhancements

The single-player concept for the MLB The Show series is also set to see some new features. A new player creation process, advancement engine and a prospect showcase event will be added.

All are intriguing concepts. It will be great to see how each is developed.


Sharing Big Moments

If you're a gamer who likes to share his or her latest spectacular moments on the virtual diamond, the process should be easier in MLB 14 The Show. Using the PS4's share feature will allow you to upload your best plays for all in the The Show community to see.


Looking Ahead

That is a ton of news for a first announcement, but from the looks of things, The Show is looking to make a big splash on the PS4. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.


Follow me for news and musings on MLB 14 The Show.

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