MLB The Show 19 video dives into defensive AI, player differentiation and user skill improvements

Sony San Diego
Sony San Diego /

Sony highlights improvements made to MLB The Show 19’s defensive AI which have resulted in player differentiation and increased emphasis on user skill.

Following last week’s gameplay debut of MLB The Show 19, Sony has been nose to the grindstone in revealing new features and improvements to this year’s game.

As we learned from the recent trailer breakdown from community manager and game designer Ramone Russell, Sony San Diego has put a ton of emphasis on improving defensive gameplay with a specific focus on defensive efficiency and intelligence. This comes in the form of new defensive A.I. with better “play decision-making logic” and improved “situational awareness.”

In GameStop’s Monday video reveal, we got a more in-depth look at some additional tweaks to the defensive side of the ball, most of which was also recapped on the PlayStation Blog.

As Russell briefly touched on earlier this weekMLB The Show 19 will reward the best defensive players. A player with high fielding ability attribute is able to react to the ball more quickly and field it cleanly. As shown, this could impact the jump an outfielder has on a fly ball as well as how he plays a hit off the wall.

Additionally, reaction time, speed and arm strength will also impact a player’s success in the field. If a player is playing out of position, for instance, Sony says it will result in an “increased frequency of fielding miscues.”

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Sony also says that advancements in MLB The Show 19‘s hitting engine “have increased the significance of user skill and player tools.” Specifically, they’ve made tweaks in how they reward batter skills with PCI skill, swing timing and taking pitches now being rewarded more evenly. Russell explains:

"This helps separate users by a basket of skills, and gives each user more opportunities to improve themselves in the The Show 19. When hitting was only PCI skill, you topped out much faster and couldn’t really improve as a batter after that. With the aforementioned changes, the game allows a lot more replay, and more ways for individuals of different skills to shine. High Contact hitters like W.Merrifield, M.Brantley, J.Peraza, and L.Cain who love spraying the ball around the field or dumping line drives just over the infield are more viable and play closer to their real life counterparts in MLB The Show 19."

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MLB The Show has always prided itself on being the most realistic baseball sim and these changes should make fielding and hitting more realistic than ever. Sony will go into even more depth on these gameplay improvements with new videos released throughout the week, including two livestreams scheduled for Thursday, February 14.

MLB The Show 19 will release on March 26, 2019, exclusively for PlayStation 4.