The Yankees and Red Sox kicked off the MLB season last night and today we’re seeing a bevy of clubs celebrating their home opener. One of last year’s iPhone app favorites, MLB At Bat, is back this year for the iPad. In honor of opening day, we’re providing an overview of what you can expect from MLB At Bat 2010. In short, MLB At Bat 2010 for iPad is the ultimate app for any baseball fan, but does come at a hefty price.
The application’s main screen brings you behind the plate of a selected game, with statistics galore at your fingertips. At any moment, you can call up a player card, that swoops in and offers you a look at a player’s statistical history. All much easier than breaking out your Topp’s. The top bar provides insight into todays scores and a diamond graphic allows you to see if anyone is on base.
Overall, the interface is gorgeous and works as you’d expect it to on the iPad. If you are an MLB.TV subscriber, you can view in-game highlights. Once your done, pinch to zoom restores the video to it’s position. Selecting the TV icon allows you to view games and you can select from either the home or away broadcast (MLB TV Premium subscription required). The quality was not on par with what I was seeing on my Mac, but it’s certainly good quality. In my brief testing, I did not experience any buffering issues. Should that change during the season, I’ll update this review.
There is a major limitation of this service – you cannot view games of teams in your local area. Living in New York, I’ll need a TV to view either the Yankees or Mets. As a fantasy baseball GM, access to an entire season of out-of-town games is well worth the price of admission. Now, about that price of admission. MLB At Bat 2010 is priced at $14.99 and it’s good for 2010. Next year, you’ll have to pony up for a new season. MLB.TV subscriptions start at $99.95 or $119.95 for MLB.TV Premium. The latter offers you choice of home/away broadcast, DVR controls, multi-game views. Note that many of these features are limited to your Mac or PC. You can find out more about MLB.TV subscriptions at MLB.com.
If you were planning on purchasing MLB.TV, then the iPhone or iPad app is a drop in the bucket. Unfortunately, there is no combination app. You can certainly purchase and use the iPhone app, but who wants a season of pixel doubling on their iPad. All these subscriptions and apps add up quickly. $14.99 + $14.99 + 119.95 = $149.93. If you love baseball and don’t intend to use the service to follow your home team, it’s hard to argue with the quality of the product. For those passing on MLB.TV, the app is on the expensive side, despite a beautiful interface and access to statistics just a tap away. In the future we’d like to see a lower-cost version that is not MLB.TV compatible.