NCAA Football graduates to retail

The race for the Heisman begins today; NCAA's only football game now on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox.

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The folks at EA Tiburon, Electronic Arts' development studio in Orlando, Florida, may be feeling a bit of "empty nest" syndrome, as it sent one of its football franchises off to college today. EA announced that NCAA Football 06 is now available in stores for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox.

EA's NCAA Football 06 is the only officially sanctioned NCAA football game this year. The Redwood City, California-based publisher acquired the rights to the association for the next six years this past April. The deal does not include any other NCAA sports. EA is the industry's major player in the football game market, as it also owns the rights to games based on the National Football League and the Arena Football League, both of which will be featured in games released later this year.

The 2006 edition of NCAA Football focuses on one of the most coveted awards in sports: the Heisman Trophy. The Heisman recognizes the most outstanding college football player of the year. In addition to signing ex-Michigan Wolverine standout Desmond Howard, one of the most recognizable Heisman winners in history, as the cover athlete for the game, EA has added a Heisman mode. The mode chronicles a prep star's journey from high school stud to "big man on campus" in a quasi-role-playing fashion.

The franchise mode has also been polished, allowing for in-season recruiting and recruiting pipelines (scooping up prospects from in-state and nearby regions). Furthermore, the gameplay welcomes "impact players" and a more balanced passing system. College GameDay anchors Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, and Brad Nessler call the action with all-new commentary.

NCAA Football 06 is rated E for Everyone and retails for $49.99. For more information on the game, go deep into GameSpot's previous coverage for a full review.

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