Madden touches down on PSP

Football game goes 4th and 4.3 inches on Sony's small screen; portable version features exclusive minigames, PS2 data transfer.

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Though the NFL is already one-eighth through its regular season, gridiron gaming is finally fully on the move. Following Nintendo DS, Game Boy Advance, and mobile versions last month, Electronic Arts today announced that Madden NFL 06 for the PSP has shipped to stores, making this version the last of the portable pigskin players to hit shelves. The popular game has also shipped for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, and PC, and PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions are in the works.

Madden for the PSP shrinks almost all of its PlayStation 2 counterpart onto Sony's handheld, including familiar play-calling screens, a robust franchise mode, and all the on-field action Madden gamers are used to.

The PSP version has some features not in its big brothers. Gamers whose Madden lives are interrupted by such trite activities as working, commuting, or bathroom breaks can enjoy the freedom of PlayStation 2-to-PSP Madden data synching, which allows a week's worth of franchise play to be transferred from the PS2 to the PSP and vice versa. There are also 10 exclusive minigames, including route running for receivers, coverage for cornerbacks, and punt and kickoff returning for special teams, bringing the running total to 18 training exercises. The final additions only on the PSP roster include wireless head-to-head play over the Internet and ad hoc, and an assistant coach mode that takes care of the practice squad.

Like the other editions, Madden NFL 06 for the PSP was developed by EA Tiburon, in Orlando, Florida. The game is rated E for Everyone and retails for $49.99. To get the full scoop on the game, read GameSpot's review.

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