Xbox Game Pass has been having a banner month. Last week, Microsoft’s subscription service got a former Nintendo Switch exclusive in the form of Octopath Traveler.
On April 20, it will get another big exclusive title from a competing console: MLB The Show 21. Arguably the foremost baseball game on the market, MLB The Show has been a PlayStation exclusive series ever since the PS2 era, but now it will come to Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S — and, yes, Xbox Game Pass.
This information comes from the official Xbox Wire blog, where Jamie Leece (who, interestingly, works for the MLB, not for Microsoft) discussed how MLB The Show will debut on Xbox consoles.
“We’re delighted to announce that MLB The Show 21 is coming to Xbox Game Pass on day one, and will be available on April 20 for Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One,” he wrote.
The game will also be available to stream to Android platforms via the Xbox Cloud Gaming (Beta) app. However, there won’t be a PC version, so it seems like MLB The Show is not ready to expand beyond the console space just yet. On the bright side, your progress will carry over across every platform listed above.
If you’d prefer not to drop $10-15 on Microsoft Game Pass every month, you can also buy the game as a standalone, but it won’t come cheap.
The standard version of MLB The Show 21 will set you back $70 at the Microsoft Store. The Jackie Robinson edition of the game, which comes with some digital extras and a $1 donation to the Jackie Robinson Foundation, will set you back $85.
There’s also the Digital Deluxe edition, which comes with even more in-game accessories, although they mostly seems to be currency and item packs that you could earn for yourself given enough time.
Why this matters
The biggest news here isn’t necessarily that Xbox will be getting a much-needed baseball sim. (For what it’s worth, R.B.I. 20 Baseball on the Xbox One was not exactly a masterpiece.)
Instead, it’s that Microsoft has made Xbox Game Pass a desirable platform for exclusive games on competing platforms. Octopath Traveler was an interesting footnote, but MLB The Show 21 comes from a Sony-affiliated studio, not a third-party developer like Square Enix. If Microsoft can tempt even Sony to port a game to Xbox, what could the next cross-platform collaboration be?
On the other hand, Xbox gamers shouldn’t necessarily start lining up to pre-order Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart or Horizon Forbidden West just yet. MLB The Show 21 is an interesting choice for Xbox Game Pass, but it could be Sony testing the waters, or a one-off deal that has nothing to do with the rest of Sony’s library.
At the very least, it’s good news for baseball fans, who could probably use some after last year’s disappointing season.