MLB 14 The Show will release April 1 on PlayStation 3 and PS Vita and will arrive in May on PS4, Sony said today, ending an anxious stretch for baseball fans wondering if they would be playing a new version of the game on Opening Day.

Technically, they aren't—Monday, March 31 is baseball's traditional Opening Day this year (a showcase game will be played the preceding Sunday in Australia). Sony moved the launch date to coincide with Opening Day for promotional purposes. For the preceding eight years, MLB The Show released on the first Tuesday in March.

But the inclusion of a third product—the series' debut on PlayStation 4—plainly influenced the release calendar, as well as the lack of any competitor (the MLB 2K series will not return this year.) Sony did not yet give a more specific date than "May," for the PS4 edition, nor did it elaborate on why that title is trailing by a month or so.

A Sony representative, when asked by Kotaku, said MLB itself did not request the launch-day change.

MLB The Show Launches April 1 on PS3, Arrives in May for PS4

It would appear that, if a PS4 edition was not going to be ready by Opening Day anyway, and there was no other series launching on consoles this year, that Sony San Diego elected to give itself a month's more time to work, rather than hustle out the PS3 and Vita version by early March. It should be noted that the Vita edition of The Show has to cooperate with both consoles, too, although Sony did not blame this for the delay. It stressed that the PS4 version would include all of the features available on the PS3 edition.

The last time The Show bridged console generations, its PS3 version launched in mid-May 2007 while the PS2 and PSP version launched on the last Tuesday in February.

Sony released several new screenshots (the one of Boston's fearsomely bearded Mike Napoli provides a stark comparison between PS3 and PS4 versions) and has many more details at the official PlayStation Blog.