NCAA Football 2005 touches down in stores

Collegiate gridiron game ships as players report problems with Electronic Arts' first Xbox Live game.


NCAA Football 2005

The good news: Electronic Arts has shipped NCAA Football 2005 to stores. Available for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube, the latest version of EA Sports' vaunted collegiate gridiron game has a bevy of new features, including a game-day atmosphere that allows home-field audiences to affect a game's outcome. The game retails for $49.99 and is rated "E" for Everyone. Check back tomorrow for GameSpot's review of the game.

The bad news: While NCAA Football 2005 was touted as the first Electronic Arts game with Xbox Live capability, it is apparently encountering some opening-day jitters. An increasing number of posts on the official Xbox forums report a variety of issues with online play. The most common problem is a connection issue with the EA servers, which respond with a "database error" when players try to log on.

"Xbox Live users may encounter connection and friends lists issues with NCAA Football," read a post from forums moderator Major Nelson. "Both EA and Xbox Live are actively working on resolving the issue as quickly as possible." EA Sports and Microsoft reps contacted by GameSpot said, "Basically, due to the sheer volume of players, we're experiencing some temporary connection issues."

GameSpot tested its own copy of NCAA Football 2005 and encountered only minor frame-rate lags--until we were kicked off the servers in the middle of the third quarter. A second game was played without any major problems until its conclusion, when we were again disconnected. Attempts to reconnect to see if the game's result had been recorded were unsuccessful as of press time.

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