When MLB The Show 24 comes out for PS4 and Xbox One, it will be the 11th year that the PS4 (and thus last-gen consoles) get a version of MLB The Show.
Depending on which side of the argument you fall on, you would consider this a good or bad thing, and since I already argued why it’s a bad thing, now it’s time to argue why MLB The Show 24 being on last-gen consoles is good. At the core of my argument is one word: affordability.
MLB The Show 24 Being On Last-Gen Consoles Is Good
If I’m being honest, I’m more passionate about why it’s bad at this point, but I do think I have to start by saying I doubt this is the choice of the developer to still be making a last-gen (and Switch) version of the game. MLB The Show is a complicated IP at this point as it seems like MLB, Sony, and Microsoft likely all have a say in the direction of things.
Going back to 2021, there was a report from Inverse that straight up said bringing MLB The Show to Xbox and Game Pass “came straight from MLB.” On top of that, Microsoft cares about Game Pass as it seems like it’s the future of their business strategy — who knows how well that ends up going — but they likely do not want any member of their ecosystem to miss out on the game. And then Sony for its part — usually the more aggressive company when it comes to adding features specifically for its own games on its latest consoles — still has a long history of supporting prior platforms.
Finally, the Switch version also became a thing in 2021 — even if it was delayed and we did not get a version on the Switch until MLB The Show 22. This version is separate in a sense because the Switch is framed as an alternative/handheld console, but it’s still last-gen in most ways and I would consider it in the same category while pointing out plenty of sports games don’t make it to the Switch.
All in all, it seems like everyone wants MLB The Show to live on in as many places as possible. This does not inherently have to be a bad thing because MLB The Show remains one of the best sports games around, and it does suck if some folks can’t afford to get a new console. In addition, cross-gen play is a big deal for many folks. We saw it with things like FIFA for multiple years why it can be a real downer when proper cross-gen play does not exist across generations, and friend groups get separated at a time when more and more these sports games want people to play online together.
Having the biggest pool of players available for online play does make them stronger in terms of easily finding games. Now, that does mean servers have to hold up and latency has to be crisp across all types of experiences, but the point stands that the community itself should be strongest in this environment.
However, SDS does not necessarily embrace all aspects of that concept since Diamond Dynasty marketplaces are separated by platform, and we still get console-specific features like stadium creator.
With that in mind, this always comes back to affordability and longevity. Being able to have Game Pass and a console from 10+ years ago and still be able to play MLB The Show and have a good time is a first. The longest generation before this for MLB The Show was the nine years on the PS3, and at the time that was considered an exceedingly long time to support a console.
MLB The Show is still fresh for some folks who have always had Nintendo or Xbox consoles, and while it can be a bummer to feel like stagnation is occurring, we should not entirely ignore those folks getting to appreciate a franchise that others have loved for 15+ years.