BANGKOK, Thailand – The World Baseball Softball Confederation, entertainment giant Konami and Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) have teamed up to exhibit a virtual reality baseball video game at this week’s annual SportAccord convention, where world sports leaders are currently gathered.
Among the wave of visitors putting on the Konami virtual reality headset at the WBSC booth was Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) President Patrick Baumann, who is also International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Secretary General and an International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member.
— Patrick Baumann (@GAISF_President) April 18, 2018
WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari also tested his skills on the game.
“WBSC is in the beginning stages of review,” Fraccari said of staging or sanctioning e-Baseball at the international level. “To meet our long-term growth targets of hitting one billion people connected to the sport of baseball/softball over the next decade, e-gaming could be a very interesting and viable vehicle, merging the traditional sport and online gamers communities. This is something we are open to welcoming, particularly in this shifting digital world.”
Konami’s Power Pros, which features NPB players and stadiums, is the virtual reality game on display at the WBSC booth, which opened yesterday. Visitors will be able to test the game through Thursday, 19 April.
Many International Sport Federations and professional leagues are looking to expand their communities, youth appeal and fan bases through the gaming industry.
Baseball-themed video games have been among the most produced and most popular in the industry, with 100s of titles dating back to IBM’s baseball game simulator in 1961.