Nintendo Coming Out with Baseball Video Game
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Japanese video game company Nintendo Co. Ltd., which owns baseball's Seattle Mariners, on Thursday said it will publish a baseball video games title this spring.
Nintendo said "Pennant Chase Baseball" will be out April 4 and will feature the voices of the Mariners' broadcasters, as well as current big-league players and ballparks.
The baseball video game market has become a complicated one in recent days, after the players' union signed a semi-exclusive licensing deal with Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.
That arrangement makes Take-Two the only independent publisher licensed to use player names and likenesses, though it also permits all of the various console manufacturers to continue with their own baseball games.
In 2004, both Xbox maker Microsoft Corp. and PlayStation 2 maker Sony Corp (NYSE:SNE - news). largely stepped back from the sports market, though Sony did come out with a baseball title.
There were five big-league baseball titles in 2004 on the PS2 (including Sony's own game) and four on the Xbox but only one on the GameCube, from Electronic Arts Inc.
The total market was relatively small though, with just 2.5 million units of baseball games sold in 2004, according to market researchers the NPD Group.