As is becoming increasingly popular in annual sports games, San Diego Studios is allowing the fans to pick the cover athlete for MLB 13 The Show, which was announced today to have a March 5 release date on both the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita.

Sports Product Marketing Manager Tyler Vaught dropped by the PlayStation Blog this morning to make the announcement official, letting everyone know the upcoming MLB 13 The Show release date (listed above), as well as prime the audience for the upcoming cover art selection process.

According to Vaught, more details on the cover art selection process will be made available in the coming months as everyone gears up for a full on selection campaign in early January. Between now and then, several “top names in the sport” will be announcing their candidacy for inclusion on the cover.

Along with announcing the upcoming cover athlete selection campaign, Vaught let series fans in on a few tidbits pertaining to the improvements coming to the latest edition of The Show. First up is the all new Playoff Mode, which “includes an in-stadium atmosphere that replicates the excitement and tension of October baseball.” So expect more pomp, more circumstance, and a whole lot more fans going street-rat-crazy in the stands.

The game will also feature a new beginner mode with instructional enhancements to ease newcomers into the game of virtual baseball, as well as an improve Play Now mode that streamlines gameplay for quicker games. And just like last year, the PS Vita version of The Show will basically be a carbon copy of its console big brother, offering all of the same improvements and the ability to sync your saves for interchangeable play between the two consoles.

Look for MLB 13 The Show to drop next March and get ready to vote for your favorite player when the cover art competition begins in early 2013.

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