Winning Eleven 8 bounces into stores

Konami's latest installment of acclaimed soccer franchise ships; new edition makes its Xbox debut and features licensed leagues.

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Konami today announced that it has shipped the newest version of its critically acclaimed soccer simulation franchise. World Soccer Winning Eleven 8 International is now available for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, and marks the first appearance for the series on Microsoft's console. A PC version hits stores next week.

The biggest addition to the game is the inclusion of licensed teams from the Italian, Dutch, and Spanish leagues. Now gamers can play footie with David Beckham and his Real Madrid teammates in their official uniforms emblazoned with real sponsors.

WE8 features 136 club teams, 57 national teams, and 4,500 photo-realistic players. The PC version will feature head-to-head online play. Other features include new on-field dribbling maneuvers, new free-kick and penalty-kick techniques, and more in-game player statistics that influence gameplay. WE8 also adds an onscreen referee with his own engineered AI to respond to players and even intervene when the action gets too heated.

Winning Eleven 8 is rated "E" for Everyone and retails for $39.99. Be sure to check back with GameSpot tomorrow when our full review goes live. For more information, including a hands-on preview, check GameSpot's previous coverage.

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