Madden 2005 Ships

Today, Electronic Arts announced Madden NFL 2005, the latest edition of its perennial gridiron heavyweight, has shipped to stores. The PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, and Game Boy Advance versions of the game will be available in retail outlets tomorrow. The console versions of the “E”-rated game will sell for $49.95 and the GBA version will be available for $29.95. Electronic Arts will release PC and PlayStation versions in September.

Madden NFL 2005 builds on last year’s edition, which was the best-selling game of 2004, by revamping the defensive AI and adding a “hit stick” feature, allowing for momentum-stopping defensive plays. The game also includes a storyline central feature in the franchise mode, and Madden is once again joined by Al Michaels and sideline reporter Jill Arrington.

Madden 2005 will also feature EA Sports Premium Pass for online play. The service will provide a bevy of features for Madden NFL 2005 multiplay, the most significant being user-created leagues, and will be rolled out later this year.

Expect Xbox Advanced to have a full review in the near future.