January 5, 2024 by Cory Dell
The calendar has flipped to 2024 which means we’re stepping into MLB The Show hype season.
The new game is just a couple months away from release, but the early winter months usually mark the beginning of news trickling out. The release date is always one of the biggest question marks and one of the bulletpoints we care most about for obvious reasons. We also get details on potential gameplay changes, new legends, new game modes and everything in between.
While there’s obviously no official news just yet, we’re firmly ready for the hype train to get rolling. Here at ShowZone, we already took a stab at predicting who the next cover athlete(s) might be. Mr. Cover Athlete will most certainly be the first real news we get here in the new year. But when will MLB The Show 24 release? I’m going to take a stab at predicting the release date based off historical precedence.
MLB The Show 23 officially released on March 28, 2023 with Early Access beginning on March 24. This marked the return of the franchise’s release window in March after the previous two versions released in April. It’s important to remember that development of MLB The Show 21 was almost certainly affected by COVID, as well as being released multi-platform for the first time in franchise history. The 2021 release date of April 20, 2021 is the latest the game has ever been released.
Historically, a March window has always been the sweet spot for MLB The Show releases. Way back in the PS2 era, the game actually came out in February in 2006 and 2007. I’d imagine the chances of us seeing a new MLB The Show in February ever again are pretty slim, but it’s still fun to imagine how exciting it would be having the new game as Spring Training is getting underway. Imagine a “Spring Training” card series in Diamond Dynasty with absolutely decked out cards from journeyman Minor Leaguers that went off. I’d be down for that.
An interesting wrinkle in this release pattern is the game’s debut on PlayStation 3. MLB 07: The Show released on PS2 and PSP (remember that thing?) on February 27, 2007 but the PS3 version didn’t release until May 15, 2007. It makes total sense that more development time was needed to get the game on the newest console cycle, but that had to be an excruciating wait period. If SDS released a Previous Generation version in March of this year then released a Current Generation version in May, would you buy the Previous Gen to tide you over or wait for the newest version? Let us know in the comments!
Beginning with MLB 08: The Show (yes, that’s how the game used to be titled) we began to see a release date in early March. 2008’s release was on March 4, 2008 and this first week of March pattern continued through MLB 13.
We got another shift towards a later release when the PlayStation 4 generation began. MLB 14 released on PS3 and Vita on April 1, 2014 while the new PS4 version didn’t release until May 6, 2014. Again, we can see the added need for development time heading into a new console cycle. This is very relevant to when I think we might see MLB The Show 24.
After the shift to PlayStation 4, MLB The Show settled into that late March timeframe we discussed a bit ago. MLB 15 released on March 31, 2015 for PS3, PS4 and Vita. MLB The Show 16 (the first year the game was titled as we currently know it) released on March 29, 2016 and then released on March 28, 2017 with MLB The Show 17.
MLB The Show 18 and 19 had virtually the same release date going back to MLB 15 before MLB The Show 20 released a bit earlier on March 17, 2020.
During my cover athlete prediction, I went extra bold and predicted that we’d see a Previous Gen version and a Current Gen version. My reasoning for this was admittedly going deep in the matrix, highlighting how Ozzie Albies and Jose Ramirez appeared to receive SDS office tours similar to Jazz Chisholm Jr. before he was announced as cover athlete for ’23. However, there were some additional layers to that prediction.
MLB The Show 17 was the first version released exclusively on PlayStation 4, dropping the PS3 from the development cycle. In total, there were three years after the PS4 released that SDS still developed the game for PS3.
The first version of MLB The Show to be featured on Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X/S was MLB The Show 21. That means that there has now been three years of congruent development on Previous Gen consoles as well as Current Gen.
Now, that might seem logical to line up that MLB The Show 24 would be the first year exclusively on the newest hardware. However, I think it’s important to look at the install base for PlayStation 4 before assuming it’s going to be dropped.
Court documents released in 2022 cited Microsoft’s internal calculations on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles sold respectively. Sony’s reported install base at the time was 117.2 million units. In other words, that’s 117 million+ PS4’s in households across the world.
Granted, these numbers won’t be a complete reflection on the number of gamers playing MLB The Show 24. The number will be a fraction of that gigantic number with most players existing in America. Still, I’m citing the number here just to display the scope of PS4’s install base. With Sony announcing that games won’t be published on PS4 by 2025, that gives Sony another year to maximize sales on the previous generation hardware and it’s more than warranted with so many consoles in the wild.
Ultimately, that’s why it’s baked into my prediction. It makes a ton of sense for SDS to go one more round on PS4 before its parent company ceases all production for the console. What better way to go out than having a special edition with a unique cover athlete?
With all that taken into consideration, I’m ready to make my way-too-early-but-why-not prediction:
MLB The Show 24 will release on March 26, 2024 with Early Access beginning on Friday, March 22. The game will release on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PS5 and Xbox Series X/S with two different cover athletes for the Previous Gen and Current Gen versions. I don’t think we’ll see a full-on, late release for the Current Gen versions. Instead, I think we’ll see a marginal improvement on the game’s tech with a potentially brand new engine and full-blown current generation experience next year.
Please remember: this is just my prediction on what might happen, not anything that’s being officially reported. It’s always a fun time at the beginning of the year preparing for news on the next game. I’m more than happy to pop the cork and get the party started with some discussion. The chances of this prediction being 100% accurate are incredibly slim, but it’s based on real data and history. So when I’m way off base, none of us will be surprised. Until then, it’s going to be a long wait until we get those first drops of MLB The Show 24 news.
Do you have your own prediction for MLB The Show 24’s release date? Let us know in the comments!
Cory is a freelance writer that currently features for Operation Sports and ShowZone and has dabbled in streaming from time to time. Cory has been a diehard Atlanta Braves fan since birth and has tortured neighbors and family alike with avid guitar playing for the last twenty years.
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