Hockey stars hit real ice early for videogame

Thu Sep 18, 2008 10:26am EDT
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By John Gaudiosi

VANCOUVER (Reuters Life!) - Hockey fans who can't wait for the opening of the hockey season on October 4 can jump on the virtual ice today, with new videogames hitting stores in time for the start of the NHL training camps.

NHL 2K9 is the first and only hockey games available for Nintendo's Wii console, and EA Sports celebrated the launch of NHL 09, its 18th NHL game by asking six hockey stars to suit up to capture new moves for next year's NHL 10 game.

Josh Harding, of the Minnesota Wild, Corey Perry, of the Anaheim Ducks, Jeremy Roenick, of the San Jose Sharks, Patrick O'Sullivan, of the Los Angeles Kings, and Drew Doughty, of the Los Angeles Kings, joined NHL 09 cover athlete Dion Phaneuf from the Calgary Flames on the ice, adorned with reflective balls and Lycra suits that captured every move for their virtual counterparts.

"Playing the game growing up I always wondered how they put the player's movements into the games and now knowing how they do it and helping them out has been a lot of fun," said Doughty, the second-overall pick in the 2008 NHL draft.

Sean Ramjagsingh, gameplay producer for NHL 09, said this is the first time EA Sports has been able to assemble this many NHL players on the ice at once for a videogame.

"We really wanted guys with great personalities, great players, and we wanted to have a mix of young up-and-comers," said Ramjagsingh. "These are guys who've grown up playing the NHL videogames."


The Xbox and Playstation 3 NHL 2K9 allows gamers to use the remote like a hockey stick to send slap shots at the goalie. When fighting on the virtual ice, players can grab both the Nunchuk and Remote controllers and get a workout while pummeling the opposition.   Continued...

<p>Electronic Arts' "NHL 09" videogame is seen in an undated handout photo. REUTERS/Electronic Arts/Handout</p>