ESPN NHL 2K5 officially $19.99

Visual Concepts confirms its upcoming hockey game will also bear ESPN NFL 2K5's low price point--and arrive one week earlier.

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Over a week after online retailers began listing it for $19.99, ESPN NHL 2K5 has been officially discounted. Making the announcement under the ESPN video games brand, Sega confirmed the next installment in its hockey series would be available for the "incredible price" when it ships out August 31, one week earlier than previously announced. The game is rated "E" for everyone and will be available for the Xbox and PlayStation 2.

Developed by Kush Games for Visual Concepts, ESPN NHL 2K5 re-creates the wild world of professional hockey. This year, the game sports several new features, including a party mode that contains dozens of multiplayer minigames and challenges; a completely redesigned fighting engine that encourages aggressive defensive tactics; and enhanced ESPN commentary featuring Gary Thorne and Bill Clement. The game will also feature online tournaments as well an online component for party mode (in case your guests don't show up). GameSpot got some ice time with ESPN NFL 2K5, as outlined in our latest preview.

The discounting of ESPN NFL 2K5 lends more weight to the theory that all ESPN video games will be released at $19.99 price points this year. Speculation that such a move was in the works started when Sega signed a deal with Take-Two to distribute ESPN titles through its discount brand, Global Star. (Take-Two is still the official distributor.) Then came official confirmation that ESPN NFL 2K5 was only $19.99, followed by the listing of ESPN NHL 2K5, and ESPN NBA 2K5 for the same price. Sega, Take-Two, and Visual Concepts had not confirmed ESPN NBA 2K5's discounting as of press time.

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