MLB® All-Star Ryan Howard Named as the Cover Athlete for MLB 08 THE SHOW™ for PLAYSTATION®3, PlayStation®2 and PSP® (PlayStation®Portable)
Phillies Record-Setting Slugger Joins Impressive List of MLB Greats to Grace the Cover of the Critically Acclaimed Baseball Franchise
FOSTER CITY, Calif.
Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. (SCEA) announced today the signing of Philadelphia Phillies™ All-Star first basemen Ryan Howard as the cover athlete for the MLB 08 THE SHOW™, due to hit stores in early 2008 as the only officially-licensed first party baseball game exclusively for PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3™), PlayStation®2 and PSP® (PlayStation®Portable).
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.
"Ryan Howard's personality and work ethic exemplify what our baseball franchise is all about and we are thrilled he has chosen to represent MLB 08 THE SHOW," said Scott Steinberg, vice president, product marketing, SCEA. "Howard has worked hard to establish himself as one of the most exciting players in the game and we look forward to him continuing the tradition of MLB THE SHOW athletes having amazing years while being featured on the cover of our game."
MLB 08 THE SHOW marks Howard's first cover for a baseball game, an accolade that continues to be a desired status symbol for professional athletes. The Phillies first basemen joins an elite team of MLB cover athletes and spokespeople, including New York Mets™ third baseman David Wright, Boston Red Sox™ designated hitter David Oritz, Angels™ outfielder Vladimir Guerrero, and a host of other MLB greats.
Already widely considered the most realistic and authentic baseball franchise available, MLB 08 THE SHOW looks to build upon its critical acclaim and deliver the perfect blend of new innovative features and unique gameplay opportunities. To deliver the closest experience possible, next to actually trying to make it in the Majors™, MLB 08 THE SHOW features a more immersive Road to The Show mode. As gamers attempt to make a starting line up in the Big Leagues, playing both offense and defense from a custom-created player's perspective, a more robust dynamic goal system and a new career advancement system will help determine when a player is eligible for a promotion.
As the only first party baseball game 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 Hudler, 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 while under user control. Adding to an already robust 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 independent Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rating for MLB 08 THE SHOW is "RP" for "Rating Pending." For more information about the ESRB visit http://www.esrb.org/.
About Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.
Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. continues to redefine the entertainment lifestyle with its PlayStation® and PS one® game console, the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) handheld entertainment system, and the ground-breaking PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3™) computer entertainment system and its online and network services PLAYSTATION®Network and PLAYSTATION®Store.
Recognized as the undisputed industry leader, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. markets the PlayStation family of products and develops, publishes, markets, and distributes software for the PS one game console, the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system, the PSP system and the PS3 system for the North American market. Based in Foster City, Calif. Sony Computer Entertainment America, Inc. serves as headquarters for all North American operations and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
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