The biggest change to the game comes with the addition of pure analog control. That's right, buttons are about as hip these days as players wearing stirrups, so Sony has finally changed the control scheme for hitting, pitching and throwing to be all analog-based (although if you want to play old-school and use buttons, you can still find last year's controls in the options menu). "This is the feature everyone has wanted in our game for years, but we didn't want to do it until we could do it right," says longtime "MLB" producer Chris Gill as he sits down to demo the game for me inside Sony's San Diego studio. "People have been asking for a new way to play the game, and now everything you do, whether you're swinging the bat, throwing to first or pitching the ball, it's all done with the right analog stick." What this means is for hitting, gamers pull back on the stick to start the batter's stride, then push forward to swing the bat. This is all about timing, since if you start your stride too early, pause, and then swing, your stride will be off and you'll lose power. Start your stride too late, and you're going to be behind on the ball when you finally swing. It takes a few innings to get used to, but by my second game, I hit a few homers and felt comfortable enough to start really enjoying the new approach. In terms of pitching, the meter the game has been using for years has been revamped a bit to incorporate the new controls. Once pitch and location are selected, gamers will pull back on the right analog stick. This causes the ball on the meter to drop toward a line about three-quarters of the way down. As soon as the ball hits the line, the pitcher will then press up on the right stick, but here's the twist -- if your location is on the outside part of the plate to a right-handed batter, you'll need to press up and to the right in order to guide the ball into the target that will appear at the top of the meter. This is all about mastering the stick, as you'll need to not only time the movements right but also hit your spot. This really adds to the pressure of each pitch. One mistake, and you might fire the ball right down the middle, then watch it fly by your head so fast you get virtual whiplash. Another cool aspect to the analog mechanic is the fact that the velocity of each pitch is actually determined by the speed with which you press up on the right stick. So if you're looking to add some extra oomph to a Matt Cain fastball, all you have to do is push up harder during your delivery. Obviously, if you're pressing up faster, it will be more difficult to pinpoint location at the top of the meter, but this really adds to the fun and complexity of the system. After a few innings, I had the new system down good enough to feel cocky, and then I messed up and gave up a 420-foot shot to Josh Hamilton. But this actually made me smile, since I knew I still had some work to do (and really, no one should be able to master a new pitching system that fast and I was stupid to think I could). I took this off the espnvideogames.com site. I am kind of old school and liked having the buttons so I'm not sure about having everything be analog so we will see when the game ships. I'm curious on what you other guys think and who is going to be down for a league when the best baseball game comes out?