Analog Pitching Controls Come To MLB 11 The ShowS

In a control switch that's likely to be controversial to some, MLB 11 The Show's default pitching, throwing and hitting controls will move to the right analog stick, though it will include the old face-button commands for the lifers.

ESPN's Jon Robinson, getting the first preview of Sony's genre-leading baseball franchise, says the analog-based pitching will transition to a gesture-based system that's somewhat similar to the new batting controls. Both involve pulling down on the right analog stick - which starts a batter's step or initiates a pitcher's windup. The player then drives the stick to the top. In pitching, the direction of the final thrust will affect the pitch's placement in or out of the strike zone, and the force you put behind it will impact its velocity.

What doesn't sound so great, however, is how this applies to fielding controls. It seems dependent on pre-loading a throw as the ball is traveling toward your fielder; if you don't do that, expect a wild throw. This means you need to be both moving to the ball with the left stick and queuing the throw to the appropriate base (with the appropriate velocity) with the right.

The hitting controls seem familiar, especially to those who've played MLB 2K. Pitching sounds entirely unique. Regardless, if you are a Show diehard, however, these new methods are not mandatory. The old pitching meter and button commands will still be available to you, they just aren't the default settings.

Other details include a cooperative multiplayer mode supporting two-versus-two or two-versus-CPU play; changes in attribute allocation in the Road to the Show career mode; 3D support and Move support for the game's Home Run Derby, and Fox Sports analyst Eric Karros replacing the insufferable Rex Hudler as the game's second analyst. Minnesota Twins' all-star catcher Joe Mauer returns as the cover star.

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'MLB 11: The Show' First Look [ESPN]