Madden NFL 2005 Has ShippedAug. 9, 2004--Signaling the start of football season, Electronic Arts (Nasdaq:ERTS) today announced that Madden NFL 2005, the flagship EA SPORTS(TM) videogame and the largest-selling franchise of all time in North America, with over 37 million copies sold, has shipped to retailers nationwide and will be in stores in time for National Madden Vacation Day on Tuesday, August 10th. Madden NFL 2005 celebrates the franchise's fifteenth anniversary by pushing the boundaries of realism forward with new defensive innovations including the Hit Stick, that for the first time make playing defense as fun as playing offense, an immersive new Storyline Central in Franchise Mode, where player chemistry and personalities come alive, and enhanced online features including Xbox Live(TM) support.* Madden NFL 2004 was the #1 selling videogame of 2004, and Madden NFL 2005 has already incited fan frenzy with pre-sell reservations doubling last year's. A special limited edition Madden NFL 2005 Collector's Edition with exclusive Madden Moments, classic versions of the game, collectible packaging, and behind-the-scenes videos is also available exclusively for the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system. Adding to early demand is the fact that the third annual nationwide EA SPORTS Madden Challenge kicks off August 14th with a $50,000 grand prize check for the winner. Defense wins championships and Madden NFL 2005 proves it with the Hit Stick, the dynamic control that gives players the power to change the momentum of a game with a single, perfectly-timed hit. Defensive Playmaker controls let players modify defensive assignments at the line of scrimmage and a host of defensive AI upgrades make defenders more intelligent than ever before. Franchise Mode's new Storyline Central is incredibly immersive, with realistic player personalities (including players requesting more playing time or want a bigger contract after a monster season), close to 20,000 different story types for virtually limitless replayability, a weekly radio show hosted by national talk show host Tony Bruno that includes real player interviews, and local and national newspaper coverage. The new Create-A-Fan feature further enlivens the action by allowing players to customize 'super fans,' complete with individual costumes and props to cheer on their team. John Madden and Al Michaels return to the booth with Madden NFL 2005 sideline reporter Jill Arrington. PlayStation 2 console and Xbox Live online gamers get a host of new online features headlined by an all-new Mini game, quick tournaments and the EA SPORTS Ticker. Online gamers can also enjoy the new EA SPORTS Premium Pass presented by Dodge for Madden NFL 2005, a subscription-based service that is offered for free this year. Madden NFL 2005, the most complete football game ever, is available for the PlayStation 2 console, the Xbox(R) videogame system from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCube(TM), Game Boy(R) Advance this week and the PlayStation console and PC are scheduled to ship in September. The game, which was developed by EA Tiburon, is rated "E" (Everyone) by the ESRB and has an MSRP of $49.95 for the PlayStation 2 console, Xbox, and Nintendo GameCube, $39.95 for PC, $29.95 for Game Boy Advance, and $24.95 for the PlayStation console.