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Press release: 2000-02-15: SEGA SPORTS NHL 2K FOR SEGA DREAMCAST HEATS UP THE ICE WITH UNPRECEDENTED DETAIL AND REALISM

From Sega Retro

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This is an unaltered copy of a press release, for use as a primary source on Sega Retro. Please do not edit the contents below.
Language: English
Original source: Sega.com (archived)


From Fully Animated Crowds to Players' Reflections on the Ice, Sega Sports� NHL� 2K Redefines Videogame Hockey

SAN FRANCISCO (February 15, 2000) -- In what is now their tradition of creating genre-defining sports titles, Sega Sports has set a new standard in hockey games with "Sega Sports� NHL� 2K" for the 128-bit, Internet-ready Sega Dreamcast� videogame console. " Incorporating an unsurpassed level of detail throughout the game, "Sega Sports� NHL� 2K" shows reflections on both the glass and ice, there's powder spray as players pull up to shoot and fully animated crowds, coaches and skaters -- and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Gamers can embrace the true spirit of the sport with realistic physical actions and emotional reactions, as well as the detailed fight mode. "Sega Sports� NHL� 2K" also features authentic replicas of all NHL arenas, accurately modeled NHL players, professional play-by-play commentary and up to four-player support. "Sega Sports� NHL� 2K" is now available at retailers nationwide for $49.95.

Developed by Black Box Games for Sega Sports, "Sega Sports� NHL� 2K" is brimming with innovative hockey game firsts. Featuring nearly 1,000 motion captured moves with 100 different goalie animations, the result a wide array of realistic body checks, passes and fluid maneuvers. Other firsts include animated players' heads moving to follow the puck throughout the game, coaches yelling over a bad call and benches reacting to gameplay. With the jaw-dropping TV-evoking replay feature, players can zoom-in on facial expressions after a play. Instant replays show every detail from any angle -- gamers can even see the writing on the puck as it flies past the goalie and slams into the net!

"The goal with all Sega Sports' titles, including 'NHL� 2K,' is to redefine the sports gaming experience. We've definitely achieved that goal with this game, thanks to the incredible detail and realistic gameplay," said Greg Thomas, vice president of product development, Sega of America. "'Sega Sports� NHL� 2K' doesn't compete or compare with other sports games. It competes with real-life TV broadcasts - that's how far Sega Sports has elevated this genre on Sega Dreamcast."

In "Sega Sports� NHL� 2K" authenticity is key. The game features all 28 teams, with every current NHL player competing in architecturally accurate arenas, with additional customizing options to update rosters with rookies, trades, or personalized players. Familiar details can be found everywhere in the game -- championship banners hang from rafters, ice spray flies off the players skates during a hard turn or stop and goalies play three different 'styles' according to their real life counterparts. Players appear with an assortment of gloves, sticks, skates, helmets, team specific pucks and heritage jerseys. Gamers, however, are able to select different jerseys, including old uniforms and those from teams that have moved.

The core of the realism in "Sega Sports� NHL� 2K" is found in the actual players. The game features more than 900 unique player faces, each resembling their real life counterparts. Every player and coach has facial expressions, so when a player is not happy at being sent to the penalty box, gamers will know it! To ensure a life-like look, Sega Sports motion-captured real hockey players of various sizes and in full pads to accurately recreate their movements on ice. Each player is comprised of more than 1,400 polygons and individual 3D player models were used to differentiate NHL player positions. Gameplay also reflects true-to-life physics, as smaller players are less apt to make an impact by hitting the big guys and dodging a defender takes time to muscle past them.

Gameplay in "Sega Sports� NHL� 2K" boasts highly advanced artificial intelligence. Players in the game will adjust their positioning and aggressiveness based on the coaching strategy that the user selects. Fluid movement in players is apparent as every shot, check and fall looks natural on the ice. Players who pass well in real-life excel at passing in this game and those who are good shooters from long-range will be deadly from the point. Shooting requires some serious aim and there are no "money" plays. Players can also perform other actual on-ice moves such as wrist shots, slap shots, behind the goal dish passes, breakouts, cross checks and many more. The gameplay is as true to life as it gets.

Not only are the teams and gameplay accurately rendered, so is the atmosphere. Gamers will feel like they're at a real game, as animated crowds drink soda and cheer, while the digital coaches move about and react to gameplay. There are more than 16,000 unique sound files included in the game, from the buzzers down to the sounds of skates on ice. Playing "Sega Sports� NHL� 2K" is similar to controlling an actual NHL broadcast. The play-by-play commentary by Hall of Famer Bob Cole and Color Commentary by ex-NHL coach Harry Neale cement the realism of the game. All these factors help make "Sega Sports� NHL� 2K" an experience rather than just a videogame.

According to Glenn Horine, Group Director, NHLE, "The NHL is pleased to add Sega Sports� NHL� 2K to our exciting line of fast-paced videogame products. NHL� 2K sets a new benchmark for all action/simulation based games with their advanced technology and game features."

Adding to the replay value, "Sega Sports� NHL� 2K" features a variety of playing modes. In Exhibition Mode, gamers can play with any two teams in the league including the two All-Star teams. Season Mode allows gamers to take their team through a full season, while tracking the player and team stats, complete with an All-Star game. For the truly competitive, the game features a fiery and heated Playoff mode.

Pushing the boundaries of innovative gameplay, "Sega Sports� NHL� 2K" has an extensive Custom player feature. This allows gamers to create customized teams based on rosters, trading, line-ups or with imported information from a friend's Visual Memory Unit (VMU). Gamers can also create their own goalie or player with enhanced characteristics, creating an abnormally small or large team member.

"Sega Sports� NHL� 2K" is officially licensed by the National Hockey League and endorsed by Detroit Red Wings� hockey great Brendan Shanahan, who is also a Sega Sports spokesperson. The game is now available at retailers nationwide and at www.sega.com.

About Sega Dreamcast
Sega Dreamcast is available in the US with a built in 56K modem, allowing for full Internet functionality through the Sega Dreamcast Network, including chat, e-mail, web browsing and online gaming. Content for the Sega Dreamcast Network is provided by Sega, [email protected] and IGN. The system's preferred Internet service provider is AT&T; WorldNet® Services, the quickest and easiest way to take the system online. Sega Dreamcast currently has more than 40 titles available. Third-party titles currently in the works will bring the total Sega Dreamcast game library count to more than 200 in the year 2000.

Sega Dreamcast's advanced 128-bit architecture makes it the first console with evolutionary capabilities, allowing it to grow and change to match advances in technology and the needs and desires of the consumer. Sega Dreamcast is also the most powerful video game console ever created. It is 15 times more powerful than a Sony PlayStation™, ten times more powerful than a Nintendo® 64 and has four times the graphics processing power of the fastest Pentium II processor.

In the first 24 hours of availability, Sega Dreamcast netted over $97 million at retail, more than tripling the past entertainment industry record set by Star Wars: The Phantom Menace at $28 million on its first day. In its initial four days, Sega sold a total of 372,000 Sega Dreamcast systems, easily surpassing the previous industry record holder, Nintendo 64, which took six days to hit 350,000 when it launched in 1996. In the first 13 days at retail, Sega Dreamcast sold more than 514,000 units. Since it launched, Sega Dreamcast has sold more than 1.5 million units, beating sales milestones set by other high-profile consumer and electronics products such as Tickle Me Elmo™ and Apple's iMac. Sega estimates that the company will sell 2 million units by the end of March 2000.

About Sega
Sega of America is the arm of Tokyo, Japan-based Sega Enterprises, Ltd. responsible for the development, marketing and distribution of Sega videogame systems and videogames in the Americas. Sega Enterprises, Ltd. is a nearly $2.5 billion company recognized as the industry leader in interactive digital entertainment media, offering interactive entertainment experiences both inside and outside the home. Sega of America's World Wide Web site is located at www.sega.com.