989 Sports'™ NCAA® Final Four® 2001 Drives to the Hoop With the Only College Basketball Action Available for the Playstation®2 Computer Entertainment System

College Hoops Videogame Debuts on Next-generation PlayStation 2 With Unrivaled 3D Graphics and Blazing Gameplay


Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. announced today that NCAA® Final Four® 2001 from the 989 Sports™ development team takes to the court on December 19 as the only college hoops game available for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. Utilizing the power of the PlayStation 2, gamers will experience the most realistic game in the series to date through intricately-detailed arenas and player models that are scaled to actual player height, weight and body style and include such detail as tattoos and facial animations. Gameplay that blazes at 60 frames per second provides incredibly authentic animations that have been motion-captured from former college stars. ESPN's Quinn Buckner play-by-play call, real college fight songs and crowd chants, and arenas designed from actual blueprints further capture the intensity of college basketball.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000510/SFW104-a )

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 of 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.

"NCAA Final Four 2001 is the only way to enjoy intense, true-to-life college hoops on the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system," said Ami Blaire, director, product marketing, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. "The 989 Sports team has utilized the PlayStation 2 system's power to crank up the college realism through detailed players, arenas and animations plus school-specific fight songs and chants that offer the intensity and true spirit of Final Four tourney action."

More than 1,000 motion-captured moves including an array of dunks, shots and steals, as well as new passes including the one-handed bounce pass, no look pass and behind-the-back dish make NCAA Final Four 2001 look like the real thing. Adding to the authentic experience, the game incorporates movements from former college basketball stars such as California's Jason Kidd.

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 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 results in the most advanced computer opponents ever implemented into a college basketball game, while an improved Touch Shooting Meter™ gives players more control of shot accuracy.

  NCAA Final Four 2001 for the PlayStation 2 Key Features:
  -- Only college basketball game compatible with the new PlayStation 2
     computer entertainment system
  -- All-new 3D player models scaled to actual height, weight and body style
     and even include such minutiae as tattoos, t-shirts under jerseys and
     facial animations during games
  -- More than 300 Division I-A teams from 31 different conferences
  -- College arenas designed to mirror their real-life counterparts
  -- Play-by-play commentary by ESPN college basketball announcer Quinn
  -- 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
  -- More than 1,000 motion capture moves by former college standouts (and
     current NBA pros) along with 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)
  -- Authentic college-specific playbooks
  -- "Bubble Watch" feature gives the gamer updates on team performance
      during the season-long run to the NCAA Tournament
  -- Icon Passing™, Icon Cutting™ and Icon Switching™ returns to
     give the gamer ultimate control of his players on both offense and
  -- 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 Mid-American
  -- 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
  -- Supports the DUALSHOCK™ 2 analog controller for ultra-realistic
  -- Up to eight players can play with Multi Tap (for PlayStation®2)

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.

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SOURCE: Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.

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

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