November 09 2004
GRETZKY™ NHL® 2005 SHOOTS & SCORES ON PLAYSTATION®2
For Immediate Release
GRETZKY™ NHL ® 2005 SHOOTS & SCORES ON PLAYSTATION® 2
989 Sports™ Launches All-New Signature Hockey Franchise Featuring Wayne Gretzky
FOSTER CITY, Calif., November 9, 2004™ Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. announced today the launch of its new signature hockey franchise, Gretzky™ NHL Ò 2005, from 989 Sports®. Now available in stores for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Gretzky NHL 2005 features fluid, fast-paced skating, precision passing, shooting and hard-hitting checks.
With a line change to Page 44 Studios, the newly recruited developer has integrated the insights from "The Great One" with a new game engine, graphics, and multiple gameplay options to provide a truly authentic professional hockey experience that encompasses the real power and raw emotion of the world's fastest team sport, and delivers the look, feel and passion of professional hockey.
To challenge the skill levels of all hockey videogame fans, Gretzky NHL 2005 faces off with an extensive list of game modes, including Rivalry Mode, which sets the stage to revisit the Leafs vs. the Canadiens, or other storied rivalries, time after time by recording lifetime stats in more than 50 categories, Tournament Mode with customizable tournaments, Online Mode with downloadable roster updates and 64-team tournaments , and Franchise Mode, where gamers assume the role of General Manager in their attempts to win the Stanley Cup®. Additionally, Gretzky NHL 2005 offers the World Cup of Hockey™, where hockey fans can play as or against one of the eight hockey powerhouses of the world, including Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, or the United States.
To enhance the experience, Gretzky NHL 2005 offer s gamers a unique gameplay option, the Gretzky Challenge, exclusive to the all-new franchise. In attempting to break the 60-plus NHL records that number "99"holds, the Gretzky Challenge offers gamers the chance to unlock hidden items including jerseys, teams and playable Gretzkys from his days as a member of the Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues and New York Rangers. And for those gamers seeking their chance to skate with the pros, Gretzky NHL 2005 features EyeToy™ functionality, allowing players to take a snapshot of themselves utilizing the EyeToy USB camera for (PlayStation® 2), sold separately, and truly get into the game.
"Having my own signature hockey franchise with 989 Sports and PlayStation 2 is a special opportunity," said Wayne Gretzky. "This is a fun, fast-paced game that stays true to the game of hockey and provides a unique way for people to get on the virtual ice and test their skills."
Officially licensed by the NHL and NHLPA, Gretzky NHL 2005 delivers a complete professional hockey experience with its breathtaking arenas that have been replicated to exact detail, including arena-specific game intro sequences and goal horns, the more than 2,500 animations that were captured utilizing professional hockey players, innovative cut scenes and replays, intricate camera angles, and accurate commentary and sound effects. In addition, Gretzky NHL 2005 provides gamers with the intensity of arcade-style play by incorporating intuitive play controls and a savvy artificial intelligence (AI) that has been implemented to "think" like the pros.
Piling up the stats and accolades that legends are made of, "The Great One"has become synonymous with the game of hockey. After retiring in 1999 as the NHL's all-time leading goal, assist and point producer for both the regular season and playoffs, it took less than seven months for Gretzky to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, becoming just the 10 th player in Hockey Hall of Fame history to have the mandatory three-year waiting period for enshrinement waived.
For all of Gretzy's accomplishments, including 10 Art Ross Trophies as the NHL's leading scorer, nine Hart Trophies as the League's MVP, 18 consecutive All-Star game appearances, three All-Star MVP awards, five Lester B. Pearson Awards, two Conn Smythe Trophies as playoff MVP, and four Stanley Cup Championships, the NHL bestowed on Gretzky the unique distinction of being the only player in the history of the NHL to have his jersey retired by all member clubs. "No. 99"was formally retired at the 2000 NHL All-Star Game in Toronto and will never again be worn by an NHL player.
"Gretzky NHL 2005 offers gamers the opportunity to get in the game and lace up the skates of their favorite professional hockey players," said Scott Rohde, director of product development, 989 Sports. "Having an exclusive licensing deal with Wayne Gretzky allows us to provide true-to-life action from the rink with insight from the greatest player to ever take the ice."
Marketing efforts for Gretzky NHL 2005 include a fully dedicated print advertising campaign running over four months that will reach more than 23 million readers through a wide variety of national consumer publications, including ESPN The Magazine, The Sporting News, Maxim, Stuff, Spin, Sports Illustrated for Kids, and many more. Targeted publications also include leading gaming magazines such as Electronic Gaming Monthly, The Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine, Game Informer, PSM, Game Pro, Tips and Tricks, PLAY and PSE2. In addition, an aggressive online advertising campaign will reach more than 20 million people through outlets such as ESPN.com, Maxim.com, IGN.com, Google, and many more.
The independent Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rates Gretzky NHL 2005 "E" for Everyone. For more information about ESRB visit www.esrb.org.
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NHL, National Hockey League, the NHL Shield and the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. 2004 NHL. All Rights Reserved. Officially licensed product of the National Hockey League.
National Hockey League Players' Association, NHLPA and the NHLPA Logo are Trademarks of the NHLPA and are used, under license by Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. © NHLPA. Officially Licensed Product of the National Hockey League Players' Association. All rights in the Gretzky name and trademarks are owned by Wayne Gretzky and WDG Enterprises, Inc.© 2004 Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.