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EA's Summer Showcase Heats Up

Hot summer nights? Not around here in the Bay Area, but at least we're seeing a couple of minor surprises.
Author: Sam Bishop
Published: July 12, 2006
July means barbeques, trips to the beach, children laughing merrily in the streets and weather that makes you thank your respective deity that you live where you do. At least, that's what it means for most people. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, it means the start of The Fog™®© and a sure sign that while the rest of the country is starting to feel the heat, we're still stuck in winter because we're about three months behind in seasons. Sure, it makes for no end to pointing and laughing at tourists that didn't read up on things first (and thanks to that three month delay, it's almost as fun in September and October), but it does mean something for Bay Area gaming press: EA's Hot Summer Nights.


A showcase for the games to come leading up to the Holiday season, EA's annual event lets journos eat, drink and game merry for a few hours while they take in announcements and hands-on time in an environment that's decidedly unlike, say, E3 where chaos reigns and the claustrophobia brought on by throngs of sweaty he-meat packed into promo tees and thumping bass makes one pray for a death that never comes.

This year, there are few surprises. We see a lack of NBA Live 07 for PS3, though we're sure that's just a goof in the press releases given how much attention was shone on a PS3 build at Sony Pre-E3 Press Conference this year. We also see some new stuff; a port of The Godfather for PSP that's not a direct port but instead is something of a strategy title. Other than a delay of Tiger Woods 07 for PS3 to sometime next year, there's not much else here that we didn't already cover at E3, and some stuff (like the slightly embarrassing Army of Two and the far more awesome Spore and Crysis) isn't showing up at all. Then some of those aren't coming out this year.

But that doesn't phase EA Studios President Paul Lee!

"This is an extraordinary time to be a gamer. Whether your passion is for sports or action, whether you play online or on a mobile phone, our development teams have created something special for you," Lee glowed.

"Investments we've made in online, mobile, sports games and new intellectual properties are starting to pay off. In the year ahead, consumers will see ESPN content integrated into our sports games, they'll see innovative online experiences like Warhammer and Battlefield 2142 and console games like Need For Speed Carbon will pioneer new technologies on next generation and current gen systems," added EA North American Publishing EVP/GM Frank Gibeau.

"This year's line-up is the best, most diverse ever," thirded Gerhard Florin, EVP/GM of International Publishing. "Consumers are about to see the true next generation of interactive entertainment on consoles, handheld devices, mobile phones and online. As the appetite for interactive entertainment steadily grows around the world, EA's broad offering of content and formats will give gamers everywhere great reasons to play."

Here's the full lineup, cut and pasted amidst minimal editing with gusto by us just for you.

[EA SPORTS]

Madden NFL 07
InMadden NFL 07, players take control of the running game like never before. Step up as the lead blocker to create a hole, and then take control of the tailback and smash through, overpower, or slash away from would-be tacklers as you fight for every yard. Innovative rushing controls give you a game-breaking ground attack featuring all-new jukes, cutbacks, and the distinct running styles of your favorite backs. In NFL Superstar, take a player from NFL Rookie to NFL Hall of Famer.

NASCAR
Take risks, be rewarded, and become a champion with NASCAR. With all-new Adrenaline Moments, use your skill and instinct during the most intense situations and control the outcome by avoiding disastrous wrecks and flying debris. Maintain your focus on dangerous conditions ahead with the new RaceBreaker feature, which guides you through every treacherous moment of the race. With all-new speed blurring, realistic spark and smoke effects, and camera shakes, get your adrenaline pumping and experience the all-out drama and intensity of 190-mph racing with NASCAR.

NBA Live 07
Building upon the depth and authenticity that the NBA Live franchise has delivered for more than a decade, this season the game will once again revolutionize basketball gameplay. With new moves that are matched only by the game's stunning visuals, players will be given more control than they ever imagined with the all new EA Sports Total Freestyle Control. This year NBA Live 07 will partner with the worldwide leader in sports to deliver more ESPN content in-game while you play.

NCAA Football 07
Momentum changes everything -- now college football's most celebrated videogame lets you turn the tide with NCAA Football 07. Whether battling your biggest rival or playing for the first-ever BCS National Championship Game in Dynasty Mode, success on the field depends on your ability to maintain momentum. Featuring unprecedented graphics that capture every moment in complete detail -- from the authenticity of the stadiums, mascots, and marching bands to the true-to-life look and feel of the players on the field.

NFL Street 3
With NFL Street 3 you can play your style of football both on the ground and in the air in this newest iteration of the popular NFL Street franchise. Show off your style and boost your score by performing stunning aerial moves, jumping into the air and collecting special items and game modifiers that hover above the playing field. You will also have the ability to control your Gamebreaker and pull off new Power moves that are available to both the offense and the defense.

NHL 07
EA Sports originally pioneered the Golden Age of hockey videogames in the 1990s, and this year heralds in the next generation with the most intuitive and authentic hockey experience to date. Powered by advanced gameplay, NHL 07 features new responsive controls and photo-realistic graphics. Players take complete command over every movement on the ice without ever taking their hands off the analog sticks. A revolutionary new Skill Stick system is an intuitive gameplay scheme that delivers an unparalleled sense of on-ice speed and control. Using the left stick to direct the lower body, and the right to control the upper, gamers will reach a level of fluidity only experienced on the ice. Skate into the zone and glide around your defenders while bringing your stick across your body and drawing it back to fire a slapshot -- all without touching a button.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 breaks new ground by offering more content, advanced features and breakthrough technology. In its latest installment, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 brings realism and emotion to the golf course like never before, while players see and hear the crowds around them with enhanced playing environments. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 is packed with new content, including 21 new courses and 50 golfers on current gen. Course content doubles on the next gen platforms and the all new UCAP technology makes Tiger more realistic than ever.

[EA]
The Godfather Mob Wars
The Godfather Mob Wars is a new experience for the PSP system that will engage gamers in a turf war as you take over territory in the strategic Mob Wars mode unique to the PSP version of the game. Maneuver your mobsters and play the right cards to take control of NYC one territory at a time.

Need for Speed Carbon
Delivering the next generation of adrenaline-filled street racing, Need for Speed Carbonwill challenge players to face the ultimate driving test on treacherous canyon roads. What starts in the city is settled in the canyons as Need for Speed Carbon immerses you into the world's most dangerous and action-packed style of street racing. You and your crew must take on your opponent in an all-out war for the city -- risking everything to take over your rivals' neighborhoods, one block at a time. As the police turn up the heat, the battle ultimately shifts to Carbon Canyon, where territories and reputations can be lost on every perilous curve. Need for Speed Carbon delivers the next generation of customization giving you the power to design and tweak your crew's cars in every way using the ground-breaking new Autosculpt technology. Represent your car class, your crew, and your turf in Need for Speed Carbon, a revolution in racing games.

Superman Returns: The Videogame
Superman Returns: The Videogame challenges players to master Superman's unrivaled powers to save Metropolis. Based on 60 years of DC Comics and the hit motion picture, Superman Returns: The Videogame creates the ultimate open-world super hero experience. As the Man of Steel, you'll hone your unworldly super powers such as Flight, X-Ray Vision and Freeze Breath to fight villains that only Superman can defeat.

And there you have it. Again, no huge surprises, really, but this is what you'll be seeing (mostly) this year from the folks in Redwood Shores.