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The Fifa 2005 Virtual World Cup

EA and Microsoft footy love-in is go!

Once they poked their tongues at each other and occasionally passed rude notes via their friends in class, but following this year's epic E3 reconciliation, there's no holding back the current EA-Microsoft love-in, as both companies have combined to announce a new FIFA Interactive World Cup Tournament, featuring EA's long running FIFA franchise.

Starting the ball rolling this very year, The FIFA Interactive World Cup will consist of a series of online and offline competitions using the current FIFA 2005 incarnation, with winners going forward to the FIFA Player of the Year gala in Zurich in December.

Although full details have yet to be confirmed, the three month tourney is expected to be played out primarily on Xbox Live, although special real-life events will also feature in the six-country tour, with a chance to play in some real-life football drills, tips and tricks sessions in between heats, as well as meet some special footballing guests and compete for prizes and musical surprises.

Microsoft is also tearing off its shirt and heading to the corner flag to celebrate the fact that the Xbox has bagged the official Licensed Video Game Console of the real 2006 FIFA World Cup, which will be held in the Summer of 2006 in Germany.

More details on this one as they unfold but remember, it will still undoubtedly be a game of two halves.