Back in December, ESPN brought you the exclusive news that Joe Mauer was set to appear on the cover of the upcoming video game "MLB 10: The Show," and now Sony has finally released the box art to go along with the announcement.
With the cover also comes the news that the game will ship to stores for the PS3, PSP and PS2 on March 2.
In addition, Sony has released the first fact sheet for the game, helping detail everything from the new pickoff moves to the ability of catchers to call a game.
Here are some of the highlights:
All-Star Break (includes Home Run Derby and MLB All-Star Futures Game) (PS3)
The long-awaited return of Home Run Derby will take place in MLB 10 The Show for PS3. Fully implemented in our season modes and available as a stand-alone mode, Home Run Derby follows the MLB rules and flow. The MLB All-Star Futures Game will also be available within season modes in its correct timeframe (just before the HR Derby). See if your Road to The Show player is invited to either the Home Run Derby or the Futures Game.
Catcher Calling the Game (PS3)
The catcher will play a bigger role in season modes, Road to The Show, and exhibition games. The catcher will give a sequence of signs and users will have the ability to change their indicator. Specifically for Road to The Show, the feature will allow a catcher to calling the game. This feature will give a new level of control to the catcher where he will have responsibility to select pitches and position himself to block balls that are in the dirt or wild.
Online Gameplay Improvements (PS3)
This year, the online gameplay experience has been improved a great deal as the game will detect and respond better to adverse network conditions along with reduced bandwidth to help the speed and flow of online gameplay.
User Controlled Pick-offs (PS3)
Want to surprise a base runner with a quick move or lull him to sleep? The new pickoff mechanism will now allow users to choose from a quick, casual, or deceptive pick-off type. In exhibition, season, and Road to The Show modes, you have the ability to decide which move you want to make as a pitcher. As a base runner in Road to The Show you now have to pick up on the pitcher's move or get thrown out leaning.
Custom Music, Fan Yells, and Chants
New to The Show this year, users can now assign music or a recording to an entire team, not just a player. Edit tracks to assign batter walk-up music or record your own voice and assign it to play for the team or player during the situation of your choice.
Movie Maker (PS3)
Newly added is the Movie Maker menu within the Pause Menu. This will give the user the ability to select up to ten replays to add to a single movie and do all their editing from this menu. The user will now be able to start recording their movie on a newly created timeline and then pause their movie, choosing different camera angles of their plays.
New Stadiums (PS3)
MLB 10 The Show will offer 11 new stadiums. In addition to all current MLB stadiums, five new Minor League venues are available, as well as classics parks now be available on the PS3 for the first time. The classic stadiums include Forbes Field, Crosley Field, Polo Grounds, Shibe Park, Sportsman Park, and Griffith Stadium.
Road to The Show Version 4.0 (PS3)
Road to The Show (RTTS) 4.0 features the additions of two new option settings; RTTS Game Watch and RTTS Game Completion, that allow users to set how much of the game they wish to view. With settings of All Pitches, All Fielding, Result Play, and Off, user's will have the choice to view every pitch of the entire game, or trim the viewing down to just the result pitch. Users will now start their career in AA and will have to earn their spot in Spring Training. In order to enforce good fundamental baseball, two new systems have been implemented. The first is a mistake tracking system that will keep tabs on how users play the game and will penalize for throwing to the wrong base, not covering the right base for the out, etc. The second feature is a new Green Light system that has been implemented to reward good base stealing and penalize those that shouldn't be stealing. If a user continues to steal once the green light has been revoked, their playing time will diminish. Once revoked, users will have to improve their speed and base running ability in order to regain the green light. Finally, there is a new stat tracking system that keeps stats for your player's career versus every pitcher or batter faced during the current season that can be accessed at any time.
Full Online Season Leagues (PS3)
Along with improvements to the traditional online leagues, MLB 10 The Show will offer fully functional online season leagues! The new online season leagues will save and display MLB Player stats, track player energy, allow for trades/injuries, and offer 40-man roster functionality.
Weekly Live Roster
An updated live roster will be available every week throughout the entire season. Included in the update will be all roster changes, addition of new MLB players (with correct attributes), and player attribute updates to reflect hot and cold streaks.
Online Game History
"MLB 10 The Show" now offers the ability to view every game you've ever played online, complete with opponents, box scores, and game logs.
1-30 Player Season Modes (PS3)
Because roster control is an integral part of Franchise Mode, giving the user the ability to control one or all 30 teams is now essential to the mode. To do this, the user has the option to select how many teams (or all teams) they wish to control right from the start of their franchise or season.
New Camera System (PS3)
"MLB 10 The Show" is set to raise the bar for sports gaming and offer the most robust and realistic camera system available. Camera positioning will make you double take and make sure you're not watching a live MLB telecast.
Real-Time Presentations (PS3)
"MLB 10 The Show" has boosted the number of overall animations by capturing more than 1,250 new gameplay animations, more than 1,000 new presentation animations, and more than 400 personalized pitcher and batter animations. To accompany this upgraded experience, The Show introduces a new broadcast camera for fielding that will make you feel like you're watching a live telecast.
Stadium Realism and Experience (PS3)
As the leading MLB experience, "MLB 10 The Show" takes pride in the details offering daytime transitional lighting, similar to our day to night transitional lighting. Notice the sun position and length of shadows as the 1:00pm first pitch reaches the afternoon. All players on field will be shown in real-time; this goes for dugout and bullpen players. Not to be outdone, stadium ambiance will be improved with the addition of HR/splash counters, fireworks, steam, noisemakers, towels, thunder sticks, working digital and analog clocks, crowd reaching over the rails, and crowd detail, such as interaction with vendors and placing K signs.
To check out ESPN's even more detailed preview of what to expect from the game, check out The Six Things You Need to Know about "MLB 10: The Show."