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MLB Home Run Derby VR launches today

MLB's first VR game offers unique immersive baseball experience
MLB.com

Major League Baseball is offering fans a unique immersive baseball experience with Thursday's launch of MLB Home Run Derby VR.

The game, which is available now for $19.99 on Sony Playstation®VR and HTC Vive via Steam, allows fans to step into the batter's box at Marlins Park in Miami, Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., and Progressive Field in Cleveland -- the All-Star host parks from 2017-19 recreated as high-fidelity 3D environments -- for an authentic virtual reality home run derby experience.

Major League Baseball is offering fans a unique immersive baseball experience with Thursday's launch of MLB Home Run Derby VR.

The game, which is available now for $19.99 on Sony Playstation®VR and HTC Vive via Steam, allows fans to step into the batter's box at Marlins Park in Miami, Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., and Progressive Field in Cleveland -- the All-Star host parks from 2017-19 recreated as high-fidelity 3D environments -- for an authentic virtual reality home run derby experience.

MLB Home Run Derby VR was developed and distributed by MLB's Games and Virtual Reality team, making it the first VR game created by an American professional sports league. It features unique motion controls as players compete to hit home runs and tally as many points as possible in the timed competition and worldwide leaderboards that showcase fans' standings.

Video: Petco Park's virtual reality home run derby

The game has been available for fans to play at a number of events, including MLB Battlegrounds in London, last year's All-Star FanFest in Miami, various offseason events and the Puerto Rico series between the Twins and Indians. The next showcase is scheduled for the Padres-Dodgers series in Monterrey, Mexico, from May 4-6, and at least 13 MLB clubs -- including the D-backs, Braves, White Sox, Astros, Marlins, Twins, A's, Cardinals, Padres, Giants, Rays and Nationals -- will host an in-venue setup for fans in 2018. Each will feature a customized recreation of the respective ballpark.

Fans can also download and play the award-winning mobile version of MLB Home Run Derby on their phones and tablets. It's available free on the App Store and Google Play and has been updated since its release in 2012 with several new features, including all 30 current MLB ballparks, high-resolution renderings of more than 50 Derby participants from the past eight competitions and a redeveloped multiplayer mode.

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.