With their cover boy in tow, Sony has shed some light on what’s new and improved for MLB 13: The Show. The upcoming release appears to be in for a major overhaul in terms of presentation and core game modes. Our friends at Operation Sports have a rundown of over 50 new features, as well as details on several major changes in store for the franchise.

Here’s ten items that have the Getting Blanked crew fired up for the release of MLB 13: The Show…

TruBroadcast Presentations 2.0: Baseball season is the longest of seasons, at least in terms of games played. In the virtual world, we gamers seek redemption for our commitment to said lengthy season. Is it too much to ask for a proper celebration sequence when you play 162 regular season games, then battle through the postseason, and eventually capture a World Series title? I didn’t think so. MLB 13: The Show will feature new postseason celebrations, in addition to varied presentations for opening day, regular season, and the All-Star Game. Finally. The game will also feature over 500 new in-game presentations, plus 1000 Road to the Show specific presentations.

New CBA “qualifying offer” system: Sony did not get into details on this feature with their press release, but one would assume this means that Franchise Mode will require users to submit qualifying offers, or non-tender, prospective free agents. This means that gamers could find themselves picking up, or shipping out, compensatory draft picks in the offseason. NAILS!

New push/pull hitting trajectories engine: Via Sony:

“New to MLB 13 The Show is our Push/Pull hitting trajectory tendencies engine. When you hit select during the pitcher-batter matchup, the in-game screen it will show you if the current hitter is Extreme Pull, Pull Hitter, Balanced, Opposite field Hitter, or an Extreme Opposite field hitter. Both A.I. and human hitters will hit more balls to their preferred side according to this attribute. This data is derived from real yearly spray charts provided to us by MLB.com.”

New batting stances and home run swings: Because it just didn’t feel right swatting bombs with Bryce Harper without that wickedly violent knee twist. No word on whether or not Carlos Quentin’s beautiful bat-flip technique is to be included.

Over 50 new pitching motions: Much like the addition of the latest in batting stances, true to life pitching motions up the realism factor exponentially.

A focus on scouting and player development for Franchise Mode: MLB 13 promises the incorporation of a “human element” when it comes to scouting and developing talent. Users will wield more decision making power when it comes to developing talent, i.e. – training prospects on specific aspects of their game, positional changes, and promotions/demotions, etc. Good decision making will impact player development positively, while poor choices will impede development and damage your franchise’s reputation.

Throwing accuracy meter: Users take more control of fielders when it comes to throwing, which means less errant tosses… or more depending on individual prowess with the new button meter. Whatever the case, it means less random outcomes when playing defense.

Commentary changes: For starters, Steve Lyons will join the booth for MLB 13. Gamers who have grown tired with repetitive insight from years past can expect some refreshing audio via the addition of Lyons. In addition to the new man in the booth, Road to the Show will receive a complete overhaul to its commentary system. Via Sony:


“The largest change is the removal of all commentary during the action. This was done to place more emphasis on the enhanced on-field sounds and to give users the sense of what is really like to be on the field as opposed to simply controlling a player on a screen. Commentary and presentations will still be heard before and after a play, but only when something important or notable regarding the user’s player is going to be highlighted. In addition, a new pre-game player spotlight will feature the user’s player and discuss his recent career progress or performance.”

 

Franchise Mode’s new budget system and player valuations: Low-budget teams can be rewarded with more dollars to spend on players and staff after finding a winning formula on the field. Teams possess individual “personalities” as well, which impact all facets of baseball operations. More on this via Sony:

“Furthermore, team-specific player valuations were also added in order to add personality to each team. These valuations are based on the team’s league, their home stadium and historical tendencies. These changes affect every facet of a team’s decision making process, from drafting, to promotions and demotions, to trade decisions and free agent acquisitions. In addition to these changes, the user can expect improved Player Generation and Career Progression, as well as new Scouting and Training systems.”

Big glove for catchers when knuckleballers pitch: It’s all about the fine details.

Via MLB 13: The Show Fact Sheet at Operation Sports