FOSTER CITY, Calif. October 18, 2005 - Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. announced today the launch of Jak X: Combat Racing™, created exclusively for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system by award-winning development team, Naughty Dog, Inc. Jak X: Combat Racing treads new ground as players engage in head-to-head vehicular combat within the Jak and Daxter universe, while racing in fully customizable vehicles armed with deadly weaponry. The introduction of online gameplay, where up to six players can compete head-to-head utilizing a broadband connection, will appease fans of the franchise as well as automotive enthusiasts and fans of the car combat genre.
“We are very excited to take the Jak and Daxter franchise online for the first time,” said Grady Hunt, senior producer, product development, Sony Computer Entertainment America. “Naughty Dog has made significant strides in delivering an intense and competitive racing experience to the largest console online gaming community, and gamers will feel exhilarated as they experience vehicular combat racing for the first time in the series, while still feeling like they are in familiar territory as they explore the Jak and Daxter universe.”
Since Jak’s last adventure, cities were rebuilt, people flourished and sports reemerged and combat racing becoming the biggest sport of all, as the excitement of high-speed competition brought crowds to the track. Kras City led the way, with people flocking to the dangerous city of death and intrigue. When Jak and Daxter receive a mysterious invite to Kras City for the reading of Krew’s Last Will and Testament, they find many familiar faces including Ashelin, Keira, Samos and Torn. During the presentation of Krew’s recorded will, he reveals that everyone present, including his daughter, Rayn, has been poisoned. Krew gives everyone an ultimatum – the only way to get the poison’s antidote is to race for him and win the next Kras City Grand Championship, or they will all die. Jak and his friends are forced into a high-speed contest for their lives as they are swept up into a deadly plot to win the biggest racing event on the planet.
As destructible objects, other racers and their ammunition careen by, players will compete at dangerous speeds in more than 80 events in single-player Adventure Mode. Gamers will be tasked with a variety of challenges spanning across various play modes including Circuit Race where players must compete to be the first driver to cross the finish line and Death Race, where players try to take down as many drone vehicles as they can while they roar through the richly detailed terrain. Exhibition Mode supports up to six players online, or two individuals can play against each other or other racers in either online, LAN or offline multiplayer split-screen mode.
“While completing Jak 3, we realized we wanted to expand on vehicular gameplay in our next game, so we created vehicles that were fully customizable with paint jobs, body parts and accessories,” said Evan Wells, co-president, Naughty Dog, Inc. “We wanted to provide gamers unique-looking vehicles to choose from when racing, and the degree of personalization available in Jak X: Combat Racing is one of the elements that has made it the most fun. Showing off your custom designed car online to your friends and competitors adds a fun element of personality and bragging to the game.”
Players will have access to 31 diverse venues, 24 of which are race tracks, and seven vast combat arenas. Jak X: Combat Racing boasts enormous tracks and wide open terrain featuring a high level of graphic detail, while Rigid Body Physics technology to deliver vehicles that feature unique and lively handling characteristics and damage levels. With more than a dozen customizable vehicles, featuring multiple “snap-ons” body parts, paint patterns and colors, and fun add-on accessories such as helmuts and antennae, each player can customize their vehicle to best reflect their personality.
The Eco power-up system is based on Eco from the Jak and Daxter universe providing players with multiple strategies for success as players can pick up Blue Eco for turbo boosts, Green Eco to repair vehicle damage and Red and Yellow Eco for weapons as they complete their missions. Power-ups include projectile weapons, smart bombs, mines, catastrophic attacks, shield systems and attack drones, each helping to deliver a more destructive and challenging experience for players.
To accompany the fast-paced action, the Jak X: Combat Racing soundtrack features two licensed songs from Queens of the Stone Age, as well as a host of original content from Billy Howerdel. In addition, an elite album will be released featuring music from the soundtrack as well as exclusive remixes from John Digweed, El-P, and Overseer which is only available for download on Sony Connect.com.
Jak X: Combat Racing is also compatible with Daxter for the PSP™ (PlayStation® Portable), releasing this spring and developed by Ready At Dawn. By connecting a USB cable from the PSP™ system to the PlayStation 2™, players will be able to unlock new characters introduced in Daxter as drivers in Jak X: Combat Racing as well as a special vehicle for Daxter. More information will be announced on unlockable items between the two games closer to the launch of Daxter.
Jak X: Combat Racing is receiving full marketing support in the following categories to generate consumer awareness and excitement for this amped-up title.
National Print Advertising Campaign:
To extend the mainstream appeal of Jak X: Combat Racing, a full blown print advertising campaign will be running at launch and through the holiday season, reaching more than 15 million readers. These publications include Game Informer, Electronic Gaming Monthly, PlayStation Magazine, Official PlayStation Magazine; Transworld Skateboarding, Transworld Snowboarding, SuperStreet, C-16, Maxim, Marvel Comics, and Stuff.
National Broadcast/Cable Advertising Campaign:
The television campaign for Jak X: Combat Racing begins the week of October 17, running through the early weeks of December. The spots will run on networks such as ESPN News, MTV, Comedy Central, and VH1.
National Online Advertising Campaign:
The online advertising campaign drives the message that Jak X: Combat Racing is a completely new take on the franchise. Utilizing custom and exclusive opportunities through affinity brands like MaximOnline, IGN, Gamespot, MySpace and MTV, Jak X: Combat Racing is reaching audiences in unique and interactive ways, including a Jak Buddy Profile, a downloadable Jak Playlist, “Jak up your Car!” mini-games, as well as a national sweepstakes to win lessons for Auto Racing school. The campaign is expected to garner more than 62 million impressions.
National Viral Advertising Campaign:
To get Jak X: Combat Racing into the hands and minds of our target audience, the viral advertising campaign is four-fold: Local street team efforts, concentrated in the top ten markets, will distribute demo discs; Jak X: Combat Racing will have a large, dedicated presence at the IGN Live Convention October 22 and 23 for on-site demos; Jak X: Combat Racing wild postings will be making a big splash in Los Angeles and New York during the holiday shopping season; and a Jak X: Combat Racing media stunt is in the works to utilize 3rd party media channels in buzz marketing.
The independent Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) has rated Jak X: Combat Racing “T” for “Teen.”For more information about the ESRB visit www.esrb.org.
About Naughty Dog, Inc.
Naughty Dog, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc., develops cutting-edge technology, graphics and gameplay for the PlayStation 2™ computer entertainment system. Additional information can be found on the company's web site at http://www.naughtydog.com.
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.