ESPN NFL 2K5 ships

The challenger to the Madden throne will soon be touching down in stores everywhere.

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Take-Two and Sega announced today that ESPN NFL 2K5's controversial road to release has finally come to an end. After being drastically discounted, the now-$19.99 football sim has shipped to stores, nearly two months prior to its originally scheduled release date. Rated "E" for Everyone, it is being released for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, and it should be in stores everywhere by the weekend.

"ESPN NFL 2K5 represents our dedication to delivering the finest gridiron experience ever," stated Greg Thomas, president of Visual Concepts, the Sega-owned developer of ESPN Videogames. "The formula is simple: 20 bucks on the weekend of July 23rd nets the consumer the best NFL game at the best price."

Like its predecessors in the ESPN and NFL 2K series, ESPN NFL 2K5 will feature realistic NFL action and a variety of gameplay modes. Several new features will be introduced this year, such as a VIP (virtual identity profile) system, which allows players to keep track of a human opponent's behavior and then save and reload the behavior at a later date, and maximum tackle, which will let defenders choose between basic hits or hit-impact tackles. GameSpot's previous coverage has more on the game.

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