THE BUZZ: The MLB.TV app for Xbox Live is set to launch today, a week before the 2012 MLB Season officially gets underway.
EGM’S TAKE: Spring has arrived and with it comes the smell of fresh cut grass and the crisp crack of a baseball bat. And if you can’t get enough of the national pastime and happen to be out of market for your favorite team (like this particular gaming journalist who has to live in Los Angeles but grew up in the shadow of New York City and so will forever be a New York Yankees fan), then the MLB.TV package has been a godsend for many of us. With the success of this program though, it was only expected that it would begin to branch out.
Continuing much in the same vein as the ESPN and UFC channels on Xbox Live, the MLB.TV app will offer enhanced interactivity and convenience. The first obvious difference comes in the compatibility with the Kinect. Using gestures and voice commands to highlight and bring up your favorite teams or particular high interest games that may drastically affect the standings is a breeze. But what most impressed me when I saw a brief demo of the app was the split screen feature. Able to watch two games at once, you can play both at the same time, pause one and focus on another and then switch back and forth between innings, or even rewind them to get your own personal replay of that amazing home run robbing catch over the centerfield wall or that stupendous 6-4-3 double play.
On top of this, you can customize your setup so that whenever you start up the app, you can be taken immediately to the most recent action involving your team (very convenient for us east coast fans now living on the west coast) and the MLB.TV app will offer not only a full archive of every game played this year, but will launch with a full archive of every game from last year as well to make it a piece of cake to relive some of your favorite moments from the 2011 season. And just like the regular app, you can choose between the home or away feeds for your listening pleasure and every game will be broadcast in HD. Or if you’re like many of us Yankees fans who have to suffer through listening to John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on the Yankees radio feed, the option to switch to the other team’s feed is more of a selling point than you may realize. I still have nightmares caused by Ms. Waldman’s shrieks from when Roger Clemens came back.
The only thing you have to keep in mind is that obviously you need an Xbox Live Subscription and an MLB.TV subscription as well to take advantage of all the features. But if you’re like me and likely have both already anyway, this is definitely going to be the way for you to watch your favorite baseball teams from now. And if you have one, but not the other, then now would be the time to get on board for sure.