Winning Eleven 9 kicking off in Japan this summer

The next installment in Konami's wildly popular soccer franchise will hit the pitch across the Pacific on August 4.


TOKYO--According to retail sources, Konami will release World Soccer Winning Eleven 9 in Japan on August 4. The game will be priced at 7,329 yen ($69) for the PlayStation 2. Since the game has also been ported to the PC the last three years, a Windows version is also likely. Last year also saw World Soccer Winning Eleven 8 released on the Xbox, a series first.

One of the biggest features in World Soccer Winning Eleven 9 will be the way the players move on the pitch. Aside from the addition of new tricks, the basic motions of the onscreen players have also been reworked to be even more realistic than in previous entries in the series.

Other features include the addition of two new positions, wing back and second top, the addition of snow as a weather option, and the optimization of the game's network mode for improved online play. World Soccer Winning Eleven 9 also features a new mode called "Nippon Challenge: Go for 2006," which lets players try to steer the Japanese team to an international championship.

The Winning Eleven series has been a runaway hit both inside and outside Japan. The franchise's most recent installment, World Soccer Winning Eleven 8, shipped more than 1 million units on its first day of release on August 5, 2004.

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