MLB ’08: Spring Training Already Underway

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It’s that time of the year, the development team for MLB 08 The Show is hard at work trying to again create the most authentic and realistic baseball experience available. I’m Chris Cutliff, Director of Production for the MLB franchise, and I’d like to give you a little insight on the dev team’s priority objectives for THE SHOW this year. For all you hard core fans, you will be happy to hear that we are working diligently to deliver not only the best baseball sim on any console to date, but also, our goal each year is to be the best sports game in the industry.

Yankees' Alex Rodriguez

Specifically, from a graphical standpoint, our primary focus this year was to incorporate a dramatic improvement to our environment lighting, player lighting, and textures in general. The MLB franchise is already considered by most as the most authentic baseball simulation available, but this year, we are aiming for an even more lifelike representation and with the addition of depth of field, improved environment lighting, new cloth techniques and enhanced facial textures, we are approaching photo realism. When comparing MLB 07 THE SHOW to MLB 08 THE SHOW, you will be extremely impressed with the overall graphical improvements. We’re very proud of our achievements in this area (check out the screens embedded in this post).

With regard to gameplay and features, we are building on the solid franchise foundation and continuing to push the envelope. The dev team has been hard at work constantly adding to and tuning the AI decisions, pitcher/batter strategy, controls, animations, presentation and audio. Each year our approach is to immerse the player in everything that is baseball and this year is no different.

Look for future post topics to include insight toward Road To The Show v. 2.0 (including an improved create player interface), all-new pitch and batter analysis, the Replay Vault, detailed gameplay enhancements, Progressive Batting Performance…aka batting streaks, My MLB Music, SportsConnect and much more.

It’s time to play ball… well, it will be soon.

Boston's Dice K

Boston's Mike LowellTexas' Michael Young

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3 Author Replies

  • wow these look great. Im not even a Baseball fan but I’d wouldn’t have to think twice about this game.

  • I may have to make the move from 2K to The Show. This looks awesome!

  • It DOES look much better than MLB 07. Looking good so far!

  • i just love this game.

  • looks phenom, i passed on this last year cuz 2k had the better graphics by far but this game on ps2 was alot of fun so with improved graphics its a sure buy!!!

  • Realistic baseball experience = terrible gameplay. I’m just waiting for MLB Power Pros to make its way to the PS3… or RBI Baseball Turbo HD Remix 2000

  • I would like to see some mini-games added, or at least batting and pitching practice modes.

  • @ Chris Cutliff

    I heard you can select your own music off your PS3’s HDD and play it in game. Is this true??

  • This is night and day difference from The Show 07 and The Show 08. The Show is by far the best baseball game out there for any console. (I’ve been a fan since the 989 days)

    I loved how when you create a player you could FINALLY at least pick out a last name to be called when you went up to bat.

    However, for 08 it would be even better if we can choose first and last names to be announced. I’m pretty sure many people will be able to come up with their name with names from the pro players.

  • When the first batch of ‘next-gen’ sports games came out, I was surprised how un-next-gen. the games looked. The human players all seemed robotic and plastic. These, on the otherhand look great! The PS3 in 2008 is rocking with games with such high fidelity graphics as Gran Turismo 5 and MLB 08.

  • Using the ps eye would be a nice add when creating player.

  • Good stuff, I’m really anxious to see what ’08 has to throw on the table. My dad and I love this series, we’ve been giving it a lot of love for the last couple years now with no regrets. Without a doubt, this is the greatest non-hockey sports franchise.

    Chris, what can we expect from features this year? We had the (questionable) Guess-Pitch recently, which, while creative, really hampered some of my online experience. Also, will online lobbies be improved/upgraded as well this year? Can’t wait to see what you’ve got up your sleeves this year.

  • Hell yeah, while I thought 2k’s game looked better, I definitely thought The Show just definitely played better – and with what appears to be a huge jump in the graphics I think the Show can definitely provide a better competition in terms of the better Baseball Sim – where as obviously 2k can’t be beat on the hardwood – but it’s a good step for Sony.

  • I want it now. :-(

  • Hey Every1 check out this website with a list on all the features of the game including in game music / replays! also they have more pics that look awesome.!

  • Right!! Completely forgot about that. It needs PS EYE support for created players.

    And although 2K’s game looked prettier, that’s where the honeymoon ended, gameplay was awful.

  • Sweeeet MLB08 looking bad ass.

  • I played MLB 07 more than any other game this year and I’m anxiously awaiting the sequel. Everything listed so far sounds great, I am just looking forward to more details on all the buzz words.

  • This is the reason I bought a PS3, seriously, I m a rabid baseball fan and hate the 2k game. These screens look amazing.

    Looking forward to all the new developments, hoping for MORE stats such as specific batter vs pitcher history, ect.

    Also every year I am PARANIOD that the developers will take out the OFFSET batting/pitching camera view, PLEASE do not take that out as it adds depth to the pitches. GrEAT JOB SO FAR!!!!!

  • Please add some life to the players skin and faces.

  • BTW- That pic of Lowell is just sick, that looks like a friggin photo, awsome.

  • IMO, 2K7 won the debut of baseball games on the PS3. I really hope MLB 08′ comes back strong this time.

  • Yes, MLB ’07 the show was awesome. I was very, very addicted to the game. It was so good to play a great PS3 game during the early dry-season of PS3 software.

    HOWEVER…one huge problem with the game were the unstable servers. Disconnects were everywhere and often. And I mean, often. It wasn’t just my connection…it was something that a LOT of people were dealing with, based on the in-game message boards.

    This ruined the entire experience for me.

    I don’t waste my time with games like that, and so I sold the game back. This game and Field Commander for the PSP were my only two really bad experiences with Sony software, and did indeed shake my fanboy faith in the company.

    Since I sold MLB ’07 the Show back many months ago, I’m not sure if this problem has been fixed. Chris, you will probably say that they are, but I’m not going to spend $50 to find out.

    I will buy MLB’08 the Show because I do love my baseball games, and with the hope that ya’ll will make the servers a lot more stable. First party games such as this shouldn’t have such problems.

    There, I’ve said my peace. I do hope somebody listened, because this ’07 pissed extremely pissed me off.—————–12

    P.S. Let’s go Mets.

  • MLB 07 was my best experience with a Baseball game since MVP. I still play Road to the Show, it is seriously my most played game on the PS3 and I’m not even a big Baseball fan. Looking at these screen shots I’m hyped to play MLB08 and can’t wait to see what has been updated for Road to the Show.

  • Looks really good. I hope the crouds don’t look too bad, since the other baseball game that came out earlier had the ugliest crowds I had seen in a long time.

    I was wondering, since this is a sony product, why not have an unlockable team of sony mascots, such as: Jak, Ratchet, Kratos, Drake, Nathan Hale, Neriko, helghast, hot shots golf charachter. I think it would be a pretty cool addition.

  • Sony has a big chance of making baseball fans(like myself)very happy.

    Everyone knows how much we miss MVP Baseball.

    If you guys can get the gameplay right we’ll be happy as hell. The graphics are looking insane…man if that’s combined with great gameplay you will see great sales. Believe me there are a lot of baseball fans out there, so give us that Spring/Summer feel and we’ll be there.

    By the way if I may make a suggestion, baseball is a team sport. With that said wouldn’t it be cool if you guys allowed us to have up to 7 other players with 7 other Dualshock3s play with each other(in the same team)?

    For example:
    Player 1: Controls Hideki Matsui both in defense and offense.
    Player 2: Controls Alex Rodriguez both in defense and offense.

    And up to 7…

    ^In other words co-op but in baseball! This would be fun as hell.

    You can even have 2 players in a team, and 2 others in the other team.

    By the way none of this is online where you could apply the same idea if you wanted to.

    Hell this could even event clans and such, heh.

    Man having bought MLB 99(back in 1998)I hope that Sony delivers.

  • By the way, go Yankees!

  • That pic of Mike Lowell is absolutely rediculous….nice work.

    I forwarded this link to my buddy that is a huge MLB fan. He was impressed how great these pics looked….except that ARod looked like a love child of Posada and ARod. hahah.

    Looks awesome though guys, may just have to pick this one up. I skipped last year since it was 1st gen of all the baseball games, but this one looks like a BIG improvement. Can’t wait.

    PS. Make my Tigers the #1 team overall….LOL

  • you forgot to say the features to the game some of them needed to make it better then 07 (which was good not great)

    Road to The Show 2.0 – To deliver the closest experience possible, next to actually trying to make it in the Majors, MLB 08 THE SHOW introduces a more immersive Road to The Show mode. As gamers attempt to make a starting line-up in the Big Leagues, playing on both offense and defense from a custom-created player’s perspective, a more robust dynamic goal system and a new career advancement system will determine when a player is eligible for a promotion. Now, advancement goals related to the player’s attribute target level will be provided to get the player to that next level and those goals are based on the player’s attribute level and statistical performance. Also, Road to The Show 2.0 adds a new statistics screen that will display a player’s current seasons’ statistics. Additionally, custom-created players are more interactive. As a position player, gamers will be able to further adjust that players positioning, catchers will occur more defense situations, and pitcher’s will now experience mound visits with user interaction – all making Road to The Show mode even more realistic.

    · Progressive Batting Performance – Progressive Batting Performance is a feature designed to both reward players for superior performance and penalizes them for hitting slumps. Specific to each individual batter, the players will be rewarded with slight contact bonuses for each batter that performs beyond his “natural ability” while under user control. Conversely, the user will be punished with slight decreases in contact for each batter that performs below his “natural ability”.

    · Replay Vault – With the new Replay Vault, gamers can now go back to that spectacular diving, behind the back double play from the first inning and show their friends. Replays are available from any part of the game from any inning within that game.

    · Post Game/In Game Pitcher and Batter Analysis – Stats and match-up analysis’ are a baseball fan’s dream! The Pitch Analysis is a breakdown of all the pitches thrown during the current game being played. Gamers will be able sort by pitcher, LHB or RHB, Pitch type and result. This feature is also available for Batters, and the batter analysis allows for a breakdown of how a batter has performed based on LHP or RHP, Pitch Type and the result.

    · Pitch Grips – Adding ore authenticity, MLB 08 THE SHOW details the different pitch grips and arm angles that a pitcher has when throwing each pitch. Showing these details in Replay Mode will further enhance the look of the game. 18 different pitch types total! (Four-Seam Fastball, Two-Seam Fastball, Cut Fastball, Split-Fingered Fastball, Curveball, Slider, Sinker, Slurve, Change-Up, Circle Change, Knuckleball, Palmball, Forkball, Knuckle-Curve, Screwball, 10-4 Curve, 12-6 Curve & Gyro).

    · Crowd Interaction – With the power of the PS3, the MLB fra

  • Crowd Interaction – With the power of the PS3, the MLB franchise is set introduce subtle elements of baseball that, quite simply, couldn’t be done on another platform. A big part of baseball is in the ambiance of the game – having realistic stadiums is mandatory, but the crowd also plays a big part in the overall atmosphere. Gamers will see a vast array of new ambient elements including: fans coming, going and reaching for foul balls, vendors, 7th inning stretch, the wave, standing ovations, dynamic crown actions like hanging K’s, and much, much more. These new subtleties make MLB 08 THE SHOW truly feel like a day at the ballpark.

    · MLB My Music – Ever wanted to make your own video game soundtrack? With

    MLB 08 THE SHOW for the PS3 and PSP® gamers will be able to take the music that they have stored on their PS3 HDD and add to the list of music played in the Juke Box.

    · SCOUT [SportsConnect Online User Tracking] – If you’ve ever had a difficult time finding an opponent that wants to play online with the same gameplay setting as you, this is your feature. SCOUT allows gamers to set their game preferences, stores them on the server, and then allows the system to look for a Quick Match with an opponent that fits their criteria.

    · In-Game MLB Live Scores
    · Online League Play – MLB 08 THE SHOW provides today’s sports fanatics with the ability to set up leagues with anywhere from 6-30 teams with full stat tracking, point benefits and rewards. Gamers can customize the league including choosing players, teams, length of schedule and much more. (Note: There are no cross platform leagues available.)

    · Online News Service / Headline News
    · Rivalry Mode – For those with a competitive nature, Rivalry Mode allows baseball fans to set up and maintain multi-game rivalries between multiple gamers or versus the Artificial Intelligence (AI), and keeps track of the stats throughout the rivalry.

    · Franchise Mode – Extending the experience of running a team, performance and player morale are tracked on virtually every level – salary, playing time, batting slot, team performance, and much more.

    · Career Mode – The Career Spotlight underscores all of the accomplishments and failures during a career and showcases them in the limelight. Gamers still need to call the shots, but now the ramifications of actions are documented.

    · Season Mode
    · All-Star Game – Lets gamers take the virtual road trip to San Francisco early to see who prevails for home field advantage in the 2007 Fall Classic.

    · Multi-Branch Fielding – Branch Point Technology goes to a new level as gamers you can now take full control of fielders and break out of any animation in the process. Change a fielding decision and branch out of any animation after the first branch point. With Branch Point Technology, MLB 08 THE SHOW provides unbelievably smooth, fluid transitions for seamless double plays and relays.

    · PlayMaker Fielding

  • Adaptive Pitching Intelligence (API)
    Pitch Command System (PCS)
    Release Point Pitching – Taking video game pitching to a whole new level, gamers must utilize a timing mechanism to learn and realize each pitchers pace and release point, which varies from pitcher to pitcher.
    Pitching Confidence Meter
    Guess Pitch
    40-Man Roster
    Wind Effects
    3-Man Booth & Progressive Commentary
    Thousands of Personalized Animations
    My Sliders (Up/Downloadable)

  • I loved MLB 07′ despite the reviews, this next year’s version looks significantly better, here’s hoping the PS3 version will be flawless (since the PS2, PSP were rated higher for 07′). Cant wait, any news on a demo or release date?

  • Come on. You can’t ruin the traditional uniform of the Yankees pinstripes with a # on the front of the jersey!

  • I’m just hoping that, the great character designs won’t be just for players such as lowell, dice-k, jeter, A-rod, Ortiz etc.

    I want younger players such as Fields, Ellsbury, Sweeney and Owens looking great aswell.

  • what a difference a year makes.. The feature set and graphics are ace. It looks like I have my baseball game for 08 :)

  • Upgrade graphics and make it a little better on the down the line hits and alley hits, and you have the best baseball game ever made.

  • This game is gonna be hot.Cant wait!

  • Holy crap, hurry up and release it!!

  • Sweet you guys have the best sport IP exclusively on the ps3.

  • Looks good

  • @njpunk24

    Good catch and good thing these are pre beta shots. Rest assured this will be fixed. Actually on the build I am looking at right now, that issue is fixed. Thanks

  • @ Madness3120

    Yes this is true. More info detailing the MY MLB Music feature in the near future. Thanks

  • this is a must have….i’m droolling.

  • looks vvveerrryy nice indeed, i love MLB and there is nothing i mean nothing as awesome as an online match with my beloved yanks vs. the red sox, i’ve been hooked on 2k7, but mlb 08 looks like a winner to me, cant wait to see this game in action

  • @ TheTwelve

    Hi, the server issues will be resolved. We recognize the disconnects resulted in a very frustrating online gaming experience and we are working diligently to make sure this does not happen again. Thanks,Chris

  • Hey Chris:

    Huge fan, still playing RttS, in fact, in year 2017 in a 162 game season.

    I’m sure the dev team is working on the issues, but please take the following into consideration:

    1. Turning the 3-6-3 double play. Easily one of the best looking double plays in the game, and it’s near impossible if your RttS player is the first baseman.

    2. Collision detection, all over the place, managers standing inside the dugout, with his legs being seen through the dirt, two guys at first base after a fly out, pitchers sinking into the mound on a homer replay, etc…

    3. More interaction options with the manager and other players. Be a primadonna, ask veterans for advice, give younger players advice, be a pain in the rear, display outbursts to the media in a 5+ game losing streak. If you’re a star, influence the GM to try to re-sign someone on their final year.

    4. Salary system is significantly broken. I’m MVP 3 years in a row and come contract time for my 10th year, I can’t get an offer above 1.5 mil a year? I’m not asking for the teams to pay out like Scott Boras is representing them either, just a happy medium.

    5. RttS – Option to play Spring Training during a contract.

    6. RttS – when making a play from 1B, holding down the button to throw to second before fielding the ball but throwing to home, totally stinks.

    7. RttS – starting a double steal. I’ve yet to see it, whether if I’m the lead runner or the trailer.

    I’ve got more, but you’re about 4 months to release. I’m not expecting these demands being met, I hope you don’t feel I’m being too nitpicky, but I love the game even with its shortcomings, and I’m hoping to see more other than a graphical upgrade. You’ve got a great product in the gameplay department IMO, but the little ticks get old after a while.

    OK, off the soapbox…

  • Any word on the release date?

  • I saw a pic of manny and where is Dreadlocks?

    I also want to see some more than 2 player support offline. Have u played EA MVP 06/07? Take that idea a expand it. Kind of lame Whoever picthing, dont do nothing else and who batting ur teamate is the baserunner. Thats lame.

    Lets get some PS Eye Support. The feature was horrible on PS2. Also with ur created player, have an option for an AVATAR.

    And Speaking of created players, in real life i have long braids, kind of lame i cant have that om the game. Also with the new custom music, its only natural to let ppl have thier own walk up entrance.

    Mini Games- That king of mountain mode is lame and its only 1 player. u ppl should take some lessens from NBA 08 in terms of mini games.

  • I was… unimpressed with MLB 07. I ended up going for MLB 2k7 last year and while the presentation was excellent in that game, some of the core features really felt lacking to me. I’ve gotta say, MLB 08 is looking a lot more interesting this year.

  • I can’t wait, MLB has been my go to baseball game since High Heat baseball left the scene. I enjoyed the PS3 version last year, but I felt that it was too similar to last year’s PS2 version. I’m glad you guys are making a great Sim even better. Just one thing, please don’t delay the game until May again :(. Thanks

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