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Take-Two Tracks Real-World Stats For MLB 2K6

2K Sports, a division of Take-Two Interactive, has announced that its upcoming Major League Baseball 2K6 will use the Inside Edge system to inform the AI routines ...
2K Sports, a division of Take-Two Interactive, has announced that its upcoming Major League Baseball 2K6 will use the Inside Edge system to inform the AI routines of each player, using various statistics recorded over the past three seasons. The statistic-based system is meant to make the players more accurately mimic their real-world counterparts during play. "Since 1984, Inside Edge has been bringing the best scouting data to Major League teams everywhere using advanced tracking techniques, new technologies, and innovative statistic methods," said Inside Edge founder Randy Istre. "Now teamed with 2K Sports, the leading developer of the best and most innovative sports titles, baseball gamers will experience the most realistic MLB video game to date." The 2006 edition of 2K's Major League Baseball series is the first year where the company's exclusivity agreement is in effect, which prohibits all other third-party developers from either directly or indirectly producing games using the official MLB players and trademarks, including ballparks and online content. Though not as far-reaching as Electronic Arts' deal with the NFL made around the same time, 2K Sports' exclusivity arrangement has affected the number of competitors its baseball title will face in 2006. EA's own MVP Baseball franchise has been scuttled this year in favor of a college-focused MVP NCAA Baseball 2006, and Acclaim's All Star Baseball series appears to have been discontinued. Humongous/Atari's intermittently-published, kid-oriented Backyard Baseball had a GBA edition labeled 2006, published in 2005. It will also be returning, thanks to the newly independent Infogrames subsidiary Humongous Inc, in a '2007'-labeled iteration for an early summer 2006 release on four platforms (PS2, GBA, GC, PC). Finally, Midway's MLB Slugfest series has no announced 2006 game, but the company may attempt to work around the restriction in the future with a baseball title in the vein of Blitz: The League. 2K Sports' deal does include a proviso allowing hardware manufacturers to develop their own first-party games, but only one of the big three companies is fielding a game. Nintendo tends to base its sports games around its own franchise characters, such as last year's Mario Power Baseball, and though Microsoft purchased the High Heat Baseball license from 3DO in 2003, it has let the series lie fallow in favor of letting third-party developers publish baseball games on Xbox. Only Sony's 989 Sports is taking advantage of the loophole to produce MLB 06: The Show on PS2 and PSP in February. Major League Baseball 2K6 is scheduled for release in the spring on PlayStation 2, PSP, Xbox, Xbox 360, and Nintendo GameCube. [UPDATE - 01/12/06, 2.35pm PST - corrected information on the forthcoming release of Backyard Baseball 2007 from Humongous Inc.]

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