989 Sports®' NHL FaceOff™ 2001 for the PlayStation® Game Console Skates Into Stores

Featuring Goal Tender Curtis Joseph as This Season's Cover Athlete, Top-Selling Hockey Videogame Returns With New Play Modes, Intricate AI And Exclusive New Features

PRNewswire
FOSTER CITY, Calif.
Sep 5, 2000

Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. announced today that 989 Sports®' NHL FaceOff™ 2001 will be available today for the PlayStation® game console. NHL FaceOff 2001, the sixth edition of the highly successful hockey videogame series, is packed with all the NHL® teams and players, international teams, all-new play modes, and intricate Artificial Intelligence (AI) mirroring real NHL player tendencies. An authentic two-man broadcast team featuring New Jersey Devils® play-by-play announcer Mike Emrick and ESPN's Darren Pang is coupled with a dramatic TV-style presentation to create the most comprehensive hockey simulation available on the PlayStation game console.

  (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000121/SONYPLAY
           http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000905/SFTU067 )

Featuring Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Curtis Joseph on the cover, NHL FaceOff 2001 thrills hockey fans with four all-new play modes -- Tournament, Shootout, Practice and Draft. Tournament Mode allows players to take the reigns of an elite international team and vie for the title of the "world's best hockey team." National anthems, classic uniforms and the world's top players are combined to create the raw emotions of international hockey. Shootout Mode challenges puck marksmen to shoot top-shelf, glove side or through the five hole in an electrifying one-on-one mode versus the goalie. The new Practice Mode allows players to sharpen their passing, shooting, checking and skating skills. With Draft Mode, gamers can assume the responsibilities of a general manager by drafting and trading players to take on the best that NHL FaceOff 2001 has to offer.

"Serious gamers have always known that the FaceOff series captures the hard-hitting intensity of NHL hockey," said Ami Blaire, director, product marketing, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. "We continue to challenge ourselves to deliver a better hockey gaming experience to players, which we have accomplished each year. And NHL FaceOff 2001 incorporates exclusive new features, an intricate Artificial Intelligence and challenging play modes unseen on any other hockey title."

As the first hockey videogame franchise to use motion capture animation performed on ice, NHL FaceOff 2001 has perfected every subtle hockey move in minute detail, from thunderous checks into the boards to blistering slap shots. NHL FaceOff 2001 continues the tradition of NHL FaceOff ™ realism to include motion capture animations from Chicago Blackhawks® winger Tony Amonte, St. Louis Blues® winger Scott Young and former San Jose Sharks® goaltender Kelly Hrudey -- totaling 150 player animations.

A new Line Manager feature allows players the flexibility to use their roster to the fullest while utilizing more than 12 different offensive and defensive strategies designed by real NHL coaches. Players benefit from special tactics such as having the defensive squad to dump the puck to the far end while changing offensive lines. With the new Shot Aim Option, gamers can control the puck during the back swing and launch a bullet past the goalie.

With proprietary feature I.C.E. AI™ (Intelligence Comprehension Execution Artificial Intelligence), developed with marquee NHL all-star players and coaches, computer-controlled players prowl the ice just as they do in the NHL providing additional hockey realism to the game. Icon Passing™ and Icon Switching™ brings unprecedented control of players as they battle for the puck in offensive and defensive zones. NHL FaceOff's "Puck Halo" makes the puck easier to see and play within the corners and in front of the goal.

NHL FaceOff 2001 incorporates all 30 NHL teams for the 2000-2001 season (including the Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild) with updated rosters and the ability to play through an entire season. Gamers can track more than 30 individual and team statistics and compete for any of 15 NHL awards, including the Hart Memorial, Art Ross, Vezina, Conn Smythe, Presidents' trophies and the highly coveted Stanley Cup.

Each arena's unique characteristics are re-created in amazing detail with the use of actual blueprints. The 3D player models are scaled to actual player height, weight and body style with real texture-mapped detailing true to the facial features of NHL stars. Multiple camera angles, pop-up stats and in-game panels combined with authentic play-by-play by announcer Mike Emrick and color commentator Darren Pang create the best TV-style presentation available in a hockey videogame.

  NHL FaceOff 2001 Key Features:
  -- Every player and team for the 2000-2001 season is included -- even the
     Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild, plus eight international
     teams
  -- Four all-new play modes:
     -- Tournament Mode -- a competition pitting the world's best
        international teams
     -- Shootout Mode -- puts gamer in a one-on-one battle versus a goalie
        who is determined to stop your best shot
     -- Practice Mode -- lets gamers perfect passing, shooting, skating and
        checking skills
     -- Draft Mode -- assume the responsibilities of a general manager by
        drafting and trading players to build a championship-caliber team
  -- New Line Manager Feature allows players to choose from more than
     12 different offensive and defensive strategies while utilizing the
     roster to create strategic lines
  -- New Shot Aim Option allows you to control the direction of your shot
     during your back swing as you prepare to launch a rocket past the
     goalie
  -- I.C.E. AI (Intelligence Comprehension Execution Artificial
     Intelligence) allows computer-controlled players to play and react just
     as they do in the NHL.  NHL all-star players and coaches consulted on
     the development of I.C.E. AI, providing insight into offensive and
     defensive strategies
  -- Realistic 3D player models based on player size, weight and facial
     appearance
  -- Unrivaled 3D game engine
  -- TV-style presentation features two-man commentary, including New Jersey
     Devils' acclaimed announcer Mike Emrick and ESPN's analyst Darren Pang
  -- Seven different gameplay camera angle option settings and countless
     cut-aways, zoom-ins, pop-up stats and in-game panels provide impressive
     TV-style telecast
  -- Realistic skating physics lets players and the puck glide naturally
     across the ice.  Players utilize cross-over steps when turning and
     skating backwards -- just as in the NHL
  -- More than 150 motion captured animations performed on ice provide the
     most realistic hockey action available.  Players motion captured
     include Chicago Blackhawks winger Tony Amonte, St. Louis Blues winger
     Scott Young and former San Jose Sharks goalie Kelly Hrudey
  -- Gamers can track more than 30 individual and team statistics and
     compete for any of 15 NHL awards, including the Hart Memorial,
     Art Ross, Vezina, Conn Smythe, Presidents' trophies and the highly
     coveted Stanley Cup
  -- "Puck Halo" makes the puck easier to see and play when in the corners
     and in front of the net
  -- Interactive crowds draw players into the game through team chants,
     yells and special animations such as hats being thrown onto the ice
     after a hat trick
  -- NHL arenas are presented in lifelike detail -- each arena's
     characteristics are included, even the championship banners and
     Jumbotrons
  -- Music from top recording artists
  -- Refined Icon Switching™ on defense and Icon Passing™ on offense
     translate into the most realistic hockey control available
  -- On-the-fly strategy control allows the gamer change his attack with the
     touch of a button
  -- Full season and game statistics are available in every offensive and
     defensive category
  -- Create and manage teams with complete rosters -- draft, trade, release
     and sign free agents
  -- Up to eight players with Multi Tap

989 Sports is the sports software brand of Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. Known for its top-selling sports franchise titles such as NFL GameDay™, MLB™, NBA ShootOut, NHL FaceOff™, NCAA® Final Four® and NCAA® GameBreaker™, 989 Sports is committed to developing authentic and innovative sports games to appeal to both the professional athlete and hard-core sports videogame fan.

Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. continues to redefine the entertainment lifestyle with its PlayStation® game console and the upcoming PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. 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.

Recognized as the undisputed industry leader, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. markets the PlayStation game console and develops, publishes, markets and distributes software for the PlayStation game console and the upcoming PlayStation 2 computer entertainment 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.

Visit us on the Web at http://www.playstation.com/ .

NOTE: NHL and Stanley Cup are registered trademarks and NHL FaceOff is a trade of the National Hockey League. NHL and team marks are the property of the NHL and its teams.

NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000121/SONYPLAY

http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000905/SFTU067

AP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org/

PRN Photo Desk, 888-776-6555 or 201-369-3467

SOURCE: Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.

Contact: Christy Fritts of Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.,
858-824-5825, or christy_fritts@playstation.sony.com; or Chris Overholser,
213-489-8239, or overholc@fleishman.com, for Sony Computer Entertainment
America Inc.

Website: http://www.playstation.com/


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