FIFA 2005 kicks off

The 11th installment in EA Sports' soccer series takes to the retail field, with Xbox Live support for the first time.

A week after it ran onto the field in the UK, FIFA 2005 has kicked off on the other side of the Atlantic. EA Sports has announced that the game has shipped to North American retail outlets for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, PC, and Game Boy Advance, with an eagerly anticipated N-Gage version due October 26. All versions of the hooligan-free FIFA 2005 are rated E, though the prices differ slightly. Console versions of the game are $49.99, while the PC version is $39.99, and the Game Boy Advance edition costs $29.99.

Like the 10 previous FIFA games, FIFA 2005 simulates the world of professional soccer. Besides improved graphics and physics, the game boasts several new features, foremost among them the "first touch control," which lets players use the right analog stick to perform various acts of fancy footwork.

FIFA 2005 also increases its massive roster of 350 international teams with the addition of the 18-team Mexican League for the first time. Another first is FIFA 2005's full Xbox Live support, which follows in the footsteps of other EA Sports titles like Madden NFL 2005 and NCAA Football 2005.

GameSpot's previous coverage has more information on the game, and our review will be up later in the week.

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