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September 20 2005

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NEW RULES, NEW LOOK, NEW SEASON WITH GRETZKY™ NHL® ‘06 ON PLAYSTATION®2

PlayStation.com
 

Sept. 20, 2005

NEW RULES, NEW LOOK, NEW SEASON WITH GRETZKY™ NHL® ON PLAYSTATION®2

Signature Hockey Franchise Offers New NHL Rules, Exclusive AHL License, New Gameplay Features and Even More Opportunities to Skate with “The Great One”

FOSTER CITY, Calif. September 20, 2005 - Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. announced today the launch of GretzkyNHL® ‘06, exclusively for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. Now available in stores, Gretzky NHL ‘06 incorporates the new NHL rules, presents the all-new Wayne vs. Wayne Mode, fully playable AHL teams with almost 600 exclusively licensed AHL players, enhancements to team AI, and other new gameplay features to create the perfect blend of authentic hockey and arcade-style gameplay.

Offering true hockey fans what no other hockey videogame can, Gretzky NHL ‘06 suits up the “The Great One” in the all-new, arcade style Wayne vs. Wayne Mode, where gamers have the chance to skate six-on-five with “The Great One” himself. By playing smart hockey, gamers can earn “99 Time,” where Gretzky will become a temporary teammate. If “99 Time” is earned enough times over the course of a game, gamers will have the ability to employ five playable versions of Gretzky on the ice at once. With opposing players having the same opportunity, it sets the stage for a possible five-on-five, all-Gretzky, ultimate head-to-head match-up.

To enhance gameplay and provide gamers with the most authentic hockey simulation available, Gretzky NHL ‘06 has integrated new features such as a smarter AI, which truly reflects the professional game with tough defense, fluid offense, and 30 on-the-fly strategies. Additionally, with a new gameplay system called Team Chemistry, gamers w ill need to play good team hockey, as the revamped AI rewards gamers by increasing player attributes and elevating the level of play from teammates for sharing the puck and playing tough defense.

“Gretzky NHL ‘06 offers hockey fans unique opportunities to get in and mix it up with the greatest player to ever take to the ice,” said Sharon Shapiro, senior director, promotions and sports product marketing, Sony Computer Entertainment America. “Combine that with all the finer details and nuances of the game, along with multiple gameplay options, Gretzky NHL ‘06 will provide users with the ultimate hockey experience.”

Officially licensed by the NHL, NHLPA, AHL and NHLCA, Gretzky NHL ’06 delivers the look, feel and passion of the world’s fastest team sport by incorporating all-new player models and player faces, arenas replicated to exact detail with arena-specific game intros and goal horns, and more than 2,500 animations captured utilizing professional hockey players. Additionally, Gretzky NHL ‘06 presents an authentic broadcast presentation by featuring innovative cut scenes and replays, intricate camera angles and commentary from broadcasting legend Mike Emrick and former Chicago Blackhawks goalie Darren Pang.

To challenge the skill levels of all hockey videogame fans, Gretzky NHL ‘06 returns with an extensive list of popular game options, including Exhibition Mode, Create-a-Team, and Online Mode with up-to-date downloadable rosters and 64-team tournaments. Additionally, an overhauled Franchise Mode lets gamers run the show as owners of NHL teams as they attempt to hoist the Stanley Cup® , while an expanded Rivalry Mode now tracks and records statistics from either a series or head-to-head battle over the lifetime of the rivalry.

For gamers who want to get in the game, EyeToy Ô functionality offers the opportunity for gamers to take a snapshot of themselves and suit up as a NHL or AHL player. And for the ultimate challenge, hard-core hockey fans can participate in the Gretzky Challenge, earn points by breaking Gretzky’s actual NHL records, then use those points to unlock hidden items, such as jerseys, teams and playable Gretzkys from his days as a member of the Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, New York Rangers, and Team Canada.

Marketing efforts for Gretzky NHL ‘06 will run nationally throughout the hockey season across print, online, and viral. Additionally, Gretzky NHL ‘06 will receive full public relations and promotional support, as well as dedicated point-of-purchase displays and merchandising support.

Coming in October, Gretzky NHL® ‘06 for PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) system will retake the ice with Wayne vs. Wayne Mode and two all- new arcade-style modes exclusive to the PSP™ system, three-on-three Countdown and NHL Showdown . The all-new Three-On-Three Countdown Mode is an open ice game, with three players on each team thatlets gamers select the number of goals to play (3, 5, 7, 9, 11), and work backwards in order to get to zero. The all-new NHL Showdown Mode tracks stats and Team Chemistry as gamers compete in Wayne vs. Wayne Mode in attempts to work their way to the top of the ladder. Returning features include Quick Game, Exhibition and Season Modes, and portable multiplayer gameplay, locally with Ad Hoc Mode or across the nation with Infrastructure Mode.

The independent Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rates Gretzky NHL ‘06 “E 10+” for “Everyone 10 and older.” For more information about the ESRB visit www.esrb.org.

About Sony Computer Entertainment America
Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. continues to redefine the entertainment lifestyle with its PlayStation® and PS one™ game console, the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and the PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable). The PlayStation 2™ computer entertainment system is set to revolutionize the home entertainment market, offering the most compelling interactive content and the capability to be used as a network terminal in the coming broadband era. PSP™ system is a new portable entertainment system that allows users to enjoy 3D games, with high-quality full-motion video, and high-fidelity stereo audio.

Recognized as the undisputed industry leader, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. markets the PlayStation family of products and develops, publishes, markets and distributes software for the PS one game console, the PlayStation 2™ computer entertainment system and the PSP™ system for the North American market. Based in Foster City, Calif. Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. serves as headquarters for all North American operations and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

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