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Xbox reveals it had to ‘trust’ Sony with pre-release Series X/S consoles for MLB

"It was a real, real sign of industry trust," says Xbox executive

Microsoft has revealed that it had to “trust” Sony’s San Diego Studio with pre-release Xbox Series X/S hardware when the rival platform holder was developing MLB The Show 21.

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The MLB The Show series came to Xbox for the first time this year, after MLB deemed the franchise should come to additional console platforms as part of a multi-year extension to Sony’s games licensing deal.

Sarah Bond, head of game creator experience and ecosystem at Xbox, told Axios Microsoft had been attempting to get MLB The Show on its consoles for years before an agreement was finally reached.

While working with MLB on the multiplatform arcade-style RBI Baseball franchise, Bond said “The Show always came up. We always said, ‘We love this game. It would be a huge opportunity to bring it to Xbox.'”

To get the game running on its then-unreleased Xbox Series X/S consoles, Microsoft had to send the hardware to PlayStation’s development team.

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“It was a real, real sign of industry trust,” Bond told Axios.

Prior to the game’s release, Xbox confirmed that MLB The Show 21 would be free for Xbox Game Pass subscribers from launch.

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It was an eye-catching move given the game released for PS4 and PS5 priced at $60 and $70 respectively.

Earlier this month Microsoft claimed that during its launch week, MLB: The Show 21 was “the biggest sports game of the past year” on Xbox and the second biggest sports game of all time on Xbox.

“Game Pass added millions of new fans and grew Major League Baseball’s player base significantly,” it said.

Sony said in April that the move to bring its internally developed baseball title to new platforms and Xbox Game Pass was the license holder’s decision.

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“As part of the goal for this year’s game, MLB decided to bring the franchise to more players and baseball fans,” a PlayStation representative told Inverse.

“This decision provides a unique opportunity to further establish MLB The Show as the premier brand for baseball video games.”