MLB 12: The Show brings the award-winning PS3 franchise to the PlayStation Vita for the first time. All of the game's key features and modes are present on the handheld version, including Road to the Show, Franchise, and Home Run Derby. Being able to include everything in the handheld version, which wasn't possible in years' passed on PSP, allows players to continue their RttS career and/or franchise even when they're away from home. Save files can be transferred back and forth between PS3 and Vita seamlessly.
For the 2012 season, MLB 12 features over 500 new presentation animations that capture the feeling of a television broadcast like never before. That doesn't include the over 300 new fielding animations, over 150 new batting animations, and over seventy-five new pitching animations that help create the most realistic baseball sim available.
MLB 11 introduced an all-new analog pitching mechanic. For players who prefer the classic style of pitching, Pulse Pitching provides that with a more active, skill-based approach. After selecting the pitch type and location, the player must tap the pitch button rhythmically to match the pulsing "X" on the screen during the windup. The more in-time with the pulse the player is, the more accurate the pitch will be.
Zone Analog Batting
Intended for veterans of the series and/or higher-skilled players, Zone Analog Batting allows for even more control when stepping up to the plate. In this mode, the left analog stick controls the location of the batter's swing while the right analog stick controls the batter's stride/leg kick and actual swing motion. For example, for a batter that sees a high fastball coming, the left analog stick should be tilted slightly up (high) while the right analog stick is pulled back to start the batter's stride, then the right analog stick should be thrust forward to make contact.
Play Home, Play Away
Those who purchase both versions of the game will be able to transfer their save file back and forth to continue playing on PS Vita when not at home on PS3. Saves must be between games though, meaning players cannot stop half-way through a game on PSV and pick up where they left off on PS3.
PlayStation Move Support
MLB 11 introduced Move support in the Home Run Derby mode, but this year's edition implements support for Move in almost every aspect of the game whether it's hitting, pitching, fielding, or running the bases.
The code that governs how the ball reacts to spin, terrain, and collisions with objects has been entirely rewritten. Now, the ball itself will react in a more realistic manner. The new physics also allow for many more types of hits based on the spin and trajectory coming off the bat.
No more "ghosting" or clipping through players when tagging, sliding, or breaking up double plays. All new animations have been implemented to more accurately depict how fielders and runners react to potential encounters at a base or home plate.
MLB 12 features fourteen new umpires with their own tendencies, interpretations of strike zones, and personalities.
New to the MLB: The Show franchise is Diamond Dynasty, a new mode that juggles team management, player progression, and online competition.
Users start off Diamond Dynasty by building their Baseball clubs from the ground up. Choosing their team name, their hometown, their team colors, all the way down to their own unique team logo (which can be made up of 1000 layers using the in-game editor). They are then given a pack of virtual Baseball cards (much like EA Sport's Madden/FIFA Ultimate Team) featuring real MLB players and computer generated Dynasty Players to fill up their roster.
These cards are tiered from Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Each card offers information like the player's position(s), strengths, and career length. Once a card has been activated, the player will be included in your team to be trained and/or played, however they will only be allowed to be used for their assigned career length (which for MLB players can be as little as 9 games or for Dynasty Players around 40 games).
From here, users can take their unique roster online against other player-made teams or play against computer controlled MLB teams with their current MLB roster to gain more budget, and further progress their team.
The cover for most of the world will feature Adrian Gonzalez of the Boston Red Sox but the Canadian version of the game will feature Toronto Blue Jays right fielder and two time reigning MLB home run king Jose Bautista.