989 Sports'™ NCAA® Final Four® 2001 Brings Authentic College Hoops to The Playstation® Game Console

Basketball Videogame Returns With More Than 300 Teams, Increasingly Realistic 3D Graphics and Unrivaled Gameplay


Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. announced today that NCAA® Final Four® 2001 from 989 Sports™, the next installment in the highly successful college basketball videogame series, takes to the court this week for the new PS one™ console and the PlayStation® game console. NCAA Final Four 2001 sets the standard for college hoops with all-new player models and arena graphics, more than 300 Division I-A schools from 31 conferences and new gameplay features that take basketball fans to the heart of the college game.

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

NCAA Final Four 2001 looks the part of the big man on campus with all-new player models that are scaled to actual player height, weight and body style. Intricate college arenas appear just as their real-life counterparts, while additional touches such as increased team momentum from a sixth Man Meter, real college fight songs and crowd chants bring to life the passion surrounding college basketball.

"NCAA Final Four 2001 captures the intense spirit that makes college basketball unique," said Ami Blaire, director, product marketing, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. "We have included the nuances of college hoops through the hundreds of NCAA teams included -- each with their own unique styles -- authentically modeled arenas and true-to-life fight songs and chants."

To further increase the realism of the game, more than 50 motion captured animations incorporating movements of former college basketball stars have been added. More than 20 dunks, post-up plays, no look passes, fade-away shots and many more exciting moves are part of each player's arsenal.

NCAA Final Four 2001 takes fans through the rigors of a full college season with more than 300 Division I-A schools representing 31 different conferences, from the powerhouses to the Cinderella-producers. Fight for the league title and follow the "Bubble Watch" feature as players track their team's progress towards a berth in the 64-team NCAA Tournament. Each team in NCAA Final Four 2001 runs its offense and defense similar to the style of play true to each college. Team-specific playbooks allow players to execute trademark strategies including Florida's full court press, Arizona's three-point offense and Temple's stifling match-up zone.

Further complementing the features college basketball fans expect, ESPN announcer and former Indiana star Quinn Buckner returns to call the action with brand new commentary paired with a TV-style presentation complete with multiple camera angles and pop-up statistics. Adding to the fun is comprehensive stat tracking for teams and individual players in 32 different categories plus awards including first and second team All-American, National Player of the Year and Conference Player of the Year. All new Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) results in the most advanced computer opponents ever implemented into a college basketball game, while an improved Touch Shooting Meter™ gives players better shot accuracy and more control.

  NCAA Final Four 2001 Key Features:

  -- Compatible with the new PS one™ console, PlayStation® game console
     and the new PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system
  -- More than 300 Division I-A teams from 31 different conferences
  -- All-new 3D player models scaled to actual height, weight and body style
  -- College arenas designed to mirror their real-life counterparts
  -- Play-by-play commentary by ESPN college basketball announcer
     Quinn Buckner
  -- More than 50 new motion captured animations by former college standouts
     (and current NBA pros) including players congratulating each other,
     coaches yelling orders from the sidelines, the ability to pass after
     starting to shoot, put-back slam dunks and the ability to run the
     baseline while inbounding the ball (when legal)
  -- Real college atmosphere with animated crowds, cheerleaders, chants and
     fight songs
  -- The "Touch Shooting Meter" provides the gamer complete control over
     player shooting abilities
  -- The "6th Man Meter" returns to fire up the home crowd and help the home
     team make shots
  -- Authentic college-specific playbooks
  -- "Bubble Watch" feature gives the gamer updates on team performance
     during the season-long run to the NCAA Tournament
  -- Signature Icon Passing™, Icon Cutting™ and Icon Switching™
     returns to give the gamer ultimate control of his players on both the
     offense and defense
  -- Features all Division I-A conferences including such favorites as the
     Pac-10, Atlantic 10, Big 12, Big East, SEC, Big Ten, Big Sky, Big
     West, Ivy League, Conference USA, Missouri Valley, MAAC, Northeast,
     Southern, Sun Belt, TransAmerica, WAC, West Coast, Mid Continent and
  -- Awards -- first and second team All-Americans, National Player of the
     Year and Conference Player of the Year
  -- Four game modes:  Tournament, Exhibition, Season and Arcade
  -- Four gameplay settings -- Freshman through Senior
  -- Up to eight players can play with Multi Tap

The independent Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rates NCAA Final Four 2001 "E" for "Everyone." For more information about the ESRB visit http://www.esrb.org/.

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 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 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.

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

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

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

SOURCE: Sony Computer Entertainment America

Contact: Jamie Tica of Sony Computer Entertainment America,
858-824-5854, or jamie_tica@playstation.sony.com; or Chris Overholser of
Fleishman-Hillard, 213-489-8239, or overholc@fleishman.com, for
Sony Computer Entertainment America

Website: http://www.esrb.org/

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