Tagged: baseball

What's next for Kevin Butler? More trash talking!

Kevin Butler

Sony struck gold with its Kevin Butler advertising campaign that has proven to be popular with everyone. Butler’s first appearance, if you didn’t know, was in a commercial for Sony’s MLB The Show that featured Red Sox player Dustin Pedroia as well.

So, what’s next in Butler’s plans for world domination? IndustryGamers has the answer from Scott McCarthy, brand manager for PlayStation software.

“We have all the baseball gamers on PS3… as far as market share we can’t target more baseball gamers, so we have to target sports gamers in general. And so with that in mind and using the Joe Mauer/Kevin Butler ‘Well Played’ [vibe] that we got last year, we wanted to expand on that just as we’ve expanded on PS3 in general with the ‘It Only Does Everything’ campaign. What that led us to in the spot was Joe and Kevin sitting down on the couch together really smack talking back and forth with each other, continuing that ‘bromance’ that started last year,” McCarthy revealed.

McCarthy added that the trash talking theme will be online next week with a series of videos featuring Kevin Butler. “Because The Show is on such a higher level this year, you have to increase your trash talk to get the most out of the game,” he said. “…[At] least that’s what Kevin thinks.”

Can’t wait for those ads to air!

Ryan Howard to Grace MLB 08 Cover

SCEA announced that it has signed Philadelphia Phillies All-Star first basemen Ryan Howard as the cover athlete for MLB 08 The Show, the upcoming installment in the baseball series for the PS2, PSP and PS3. Here’s the scoop:

Known for his prolific power and ability to drive in runs, Howard is just the second player in Major League Baseball history to win the Rookie of the Year honors and a Most Valuable Player award in successive seasons. During his 2006 MVP season, Howard led the Major Leagues in home runs (58), which broke the record for most home runs in a sophomore season set in 1947 by Ralph Kiner (51), won the All-Star Game Home Run Derby with a total of 23 blasts, and was the 2006 National League Hank Aaron Award recipient, the award given to the top hitter in each league.

Last season, while helping lead the Phillies to the 2007 National League Division Series against the Colorado Rockies by muscling out 47 home runs and driving in 136 runs, Howard became the fastest player in MLB history to hit 100 home runs. The record-breaking accomplishment was achieved in only 325 games, 60 less than the 385 games that Ralph Kiner needed to hit his first 100 home runs from 1946 to 1948.

The game is due out early this year and will build upon the series by including new features such as the Road to the Show mode, as well as custom characters and more.

MLB 08 Announced

SCEA has officially announced MLB 08: The Show, the next entry in their internally developed baseball game. Set for release during Spring 2008, the game is being made exclusively for the PS2, PSP and PS3, and will feature various enhancements and new features to make it a worthwhile upgrade. Here’s the scoop:

To deliver the closest experience possible, next to actually trying to make it in the Majors, MLB 08 THE SHOW introduces a more immersive Road to The Show mode. As gamers attempt to make a starting line-up in the Big Leagues, playing on both offense and defense from a custom-created player’s perspective, a more robust dynamic goal system and a new career advancement system will determine when a player is eligible for a promotion. Additionally, custom-created players are more interactive. As a position player, gamers will be able to further adjust that players positioning, catchers will endure more defense situations, and pitchers will now experience mound visits with user interaction – all making Road to The Show mode even more realistic.

As the only first party franchise officially licensed by Major League Baseball Properties Inc. (MLBP), Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), MLB 08 THE SHOW features more than 3,000 individual player animations, including personalized stances, pitching animations, individual swings, batting rituals and motion captures from MLB® players. Additionally, the franchise adds to the realism by including Umpire Personalities combined with Interactive Hot and Cold Zones and Player-scaled Strike Zones, Release Point Pitching combined with Adaptive Pitching Intelligence (API) and the Pitch Command System (PCS), and the most comprehensive commentary ever produced for a sports title, featuring the three-man booth of Rex Huddler, Matt Vasgerian and Dave Campbell.

Providing players with some additional performance incentives, the MLB franchise introduces the new Progressive Batting Performance feature, which will both reward players for superior performance and penalize them for hitting slumps. Specific to each individual batter, players will be rewarded with slight contract bonuses, or punished with slight decreases in contract, based on how that batter that performs beyond his “natural ability” while under user control. Adding to the online feature set, which includes customizable Online League Play with up to 30 teams, scrolling MLB Score Ticker and more, MLB 08 THE SHOW introduces SCOUT (SportsConnect Online User Tracking), which allows gamers to set and store their game preferences on the MLB server, and then enables the system to look for a Quick Match with opponents that fit similar competitive criteria.

The game also features Pitcher/Batter analysis, both in-game and post game, offering a breakdown of how a batter performed based on LHP or RHP, pitch type and the result. MLB 08 will also let players use custom soundtracks in case they do not like the provided tracks. Finally, the game will feature various multiplayer modes and support for EyeToy.

Super Mario Bros. and Street Fighter II Heading for Wii

Since holiday gifts are all the rage these days, here are Nintendo’s: new retro games on Wii Shop Channel on December 25. Yeah, it doesn’t sound like much, but how about the list of games themselves: Street Fighter II: The World Warrior (SNES), Super Castlevania IV (SNES), Toe Jam & Earl (Sega Genesis) and R-TYPE (TurboGrafx16). All these games will be on sale for 800 points, excluding the company’s “special holiday surprise” – Super Mario Bros. (NES) for 500 points.

While recovering from a hangover on January 1, 2007, users will be treated to Baseball and Urban Champion, both NES games, going for 500 points each.

UBO 2006 Subscriptions Open

If you’re a sports AND MMOG fan, then you’re sure to love Ultimate Baseball Online 2006, which Netamin announced is now open for play. The company is offering subscriptions for the world’s first MMO Sports game, including “Lifetime” subscriptions starting at $7.95 a month with no price increases for the life of the subscription. This offer will be valid till October 25, after which the regular monthly fee of $9.95 will be offered, with discounts for semi-annual and annual subscriptions.

UBO 2006 is being offered as a free download and free entry-level play, including the ability to create characters and play pickup games and some tournaments. Netamin will be hosting the Ultimate Baseball Championship, an annual competition where winners of UBO League play and tournaments compete for the title of Best UBO Team. Over $10,000 in cash prizes will be awarded, with the first playoffs starting in late 2007.

Curt Schilling in EverQuest II

39-year old baseball superstar Curt Schilling will be making his game debut on EverQuest II starting next month, according to an announcement from Sony Online Entertainment.

Schilling’s game character will be online for three days during the Yankees vs. Red Sox baseball series June 5-7. During this time, any one can challenge the “epically awesome, loot-dropping virtual bad guy;” SOE will donate $5 (up to a maximum of $10,000) to the ALS Association, an organization that helps patients with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. After the three-day series, Curt’s character will remain in the game as a high-powered enemy that gamers will have to face later in the game.

In addition, SOE encourages its users to type “/ALS” within EverQuest II and donate money to the ALS Association, Curt’s charity of choice. This program will run throughout the entire three-day baseball series.

MLB 2K6 Soundtrack

2K Sports has announced that Matador Records, among other record labels, is providing music for the in-game Major League baseball 2K6 soundtrack. Songs from the soundtrack include tracks from Interpol, Malkmus, Pavement and many others. Here’s the full 19 song track listing:

  • Belle and Sebastian – To Be Myself Completely and Le Pastie De La Bourgeoisie
  • Cornelius – Drop, Count Five Or Six
  • Early Man – Closing In (The Medley)
  • Interpol – Evil
  • Mogwai – Hunted By A Freak
  • Pavement – Serpentine Pad
  • Preston School of Industry – Line It Up
  • Pretty Girls Make Graves – The Grandmother Wolf
  • Stephen Malkmus – Loud Cloud Crowd
  • The Double – Icy, Idiocy
  • Yo La Tengo – Today Is The Day

Major League Baseball 2K6 will be available this Spring for the PS2, Xbox, Xbox 360, PSP and Gamecube.