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'MLB '06: The Show' (PSP/PS2) Cover Athlete Signed

by Rainier on Dec. 13, 2005 @ 11:35 a.m. PST

SCEA announced today the signing of Boston Red Sox Designated Hitter David Ortiz as the cover athlete for the MLB '06: The Show, due to hit stores in spring of '06 as the only officially licensed first party videogame exclusively for the PS2 and PSP.

At six-feet, four-inches tall and 230-pounds, Ortiz is one of the most feared hitters in the game and affectionately know as "Big Papi" by the Red Sox Nation. Ortiz joins a hallowed group of baseball All-Stars that have graced the cover of the popular baseball simulation, including last year's cover athlete, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim's All-Star, Vladimir Guerrero. In 2004, Ortiz put up MVP worthy stats during his first All-Star season (91 extra base hits, 139 RBI and 41 HR). But it was in the postseason where Ortiz exploded for a number of clutch at-bats and put a thrilling end to the Curse of the Bambino as he propelled the Boston Red Sox to a World Series Championship for the first time in 86 years.

An All-Star selection and World Series Championship Trophy were highlights for 2004, but in 2005, Ortiz had his best season statistically. With 47 HR, 148 RBI and a .300 batting average, Ortiz broke numerous records and earned a second consecutive All-Star appearance. The 47 home runs were the most by a designated hitter in the history of the Major Leagues, helping Ortiz earn the Hank Aaron Award, given to the best offensive player in the American and National League.

"David Ortiz is one of the most exciting and clutch players in the major leagues and his power, personality and ability to pull through for the big hit make him a huge fan favorite," said Scott Rohde, director, sports product development for SCEA. "We are thrilled that he has chosen to play ball with MLB '06: The Show and represent the franchise."

A prestigious honor, Ortiz chalks up his first cover for a videogame, an accolade that continues to be one of the most sought after status symbols for professional athletes. Ortiz joins an elite team of previous MLB cover athletes and spokespeople including the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim's Vladimir Guerrero, Oakland A's Eric Chavez, Arizona Diamondback's Troy Glaus and Shawn Green and Cincinnati Reds' Adam Dunn.

As the longest running officially licensed MLB franchise for the PlayStation platforms, MLB '06: The Show looks to build upon its critical acclaim by unveiling new core features and platform specific advancements. Across both the PlayStation 2 and PSP platforms, an all-new Rivalry Mode allows players to set up and maintain multi-game rivalries with multiple players, while tracking stats for the life of the rivalry. Taking a page from parks and driveways around the country, MLB '06: The Show introduces King of the Diamond, an innovative mini game that pits pitcher vs. batter in a classic two-man showdown. To call the action, Rex Hudler joins Matt Vasgersian and Dave Campbell for a new Three-Man Booth with a Progressive Broadcast, which adapts to current situations as gamers progress through the game, ultimately providing the most comprehensive, game-specific commentary in any baseball videogame.

MLB'06: The Show for PlayStation 2 reports to camp with the new Game Time Decisions feature, bringing more depth to Franchise and Season Modes by providing scenarios in which users will need to take full control of their team and decide which players to place in the line up at critical times. Additionally, the new 40-Man Roster feature offers the ability to take full control of a team's roster and manage all 40 players for each and every game. For a complete package of unprecedented online options, MLB'06: The Show now offers head-to-head gameplay for both King of the Diamond and Rivalry Mode to go along with 32-team tournaments, live sports tickers, downloadable rosters, chat and more. Additionally, the implementation of a new online news service provides users with MLB updates on news and events from around the league or their favorite team. Returning gameplay favorites for PlayStation 2 include, Release Point Pitching, the Pitching Confidence Meter, Guess Pitch, and EyeToy(TM) functionality.

MLB'06: The Show for PSP suits up for the season with the all-new Career Mode for gamers to create a player and take them out to play anytime, anywhere, and a Season Mode that now offers multiple seasons. Users can choose their favorite team, play the regular season, advance to the playoffs, be crowned the World Series Champion and even create their own dynasty. With the new Historical Greats option, nostalgic fans of America's Pastime can go up against baseball's greatest legends. For gamers on the go, MLB'06: The Show offers multiplayer gameplay, either locally via Ad Hoc Mode or across the nation via Infrastructure Mode. Additionally, sports fanatics can utilize the new online news service to get the latest MLB news feeds online or save them to the Memory Stick Duo(TM) to review offline at their convenience.

The independent Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rating for MLB '06: The Show is "RP" for "Rating Pending.

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