I find this to be one of the most interesting stories so far this year. Given that the upcoming launch of the Vita is a PlayStation product, and The Show is their own property, it's little surprise that they would take a lot of care in producing a quality game as a showcase for their system.

Given that the Vita essentially can amount to a port of a PS3 game due to its processing power and feature set that meant MLB 12: The Show wouldn't have to be built from the ground up for Vita. Instead SCEA took away development time from the PS3 to devote to the Vita and make sure it lived up to expectations and the elements that tied them together would work flawlessly.

For those people who buy a Vita they'll benefit greatly with a PS3 quality experience - and anyone who buys two copies (those are some devoted fans for $100) of The Show will enjoy the features even more given the ability to share saves between the two. The problem is the number of people that fall into those categories will not be large.

The Vita isn't expected to launch in the US with particularly strong sales numbers - in fact most of the news the last few months has been about big time concerns as to whether it'll be an immediate failure. Consumers are more hesitant now than ever to invest in a portable gaming device - what was thought at one time to be a sure thing in the 3DS even disappointed hugely.

So whether it was a smart decision for Sony to cut into PS3 development of The Show in favor of the Vita version is up for debate.

Will the The Show on PS3 lose sales cause of this? Not necessarily because of how development time was lost - but in the growing sense of staleness that has been a common sentiment over the last few years directed towards the series. The franchise peaked in sales with MLB 10 and then fell off rather sharply with MLB 11.

So the question is whether a big enough hook will be there for MLB 12 to grow sales (and not just sustain them or even prevent a further slide). A franchise overhaul may have been that - but wasn't completed because of the Vita. We'll just have to wait and see if the included features are compelling enough.

This isn't necessarily a question of whether fans of the series, who would buy the game no matter what, will walk away due to lack of advancement. Rather it's the casuals who are looking for more than a slightly improved experience over last year, or a particular reason to get interested in it as a non-hardcore baseball fan, to shell out $60. Maybe that was lost because of the Vita or maybe it wasn't - time will tell though whether it was the right choice not to put all possible effort into the PS3 version this year.
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