EA Sports has some news that will bowl over cricket fanatics: its latest slice of virtual leather on digitised willow, Cricket 07, will ship on PlayStation 2 and PC in early November.
Which leaves plenty of time for us to enact our own virtual Ashes Test series - England's attempt to maintain its grip on the urn begins on November 23 in Brisbane. EA Sports has extensively revamped the game, endowing it with what it calls the Century Stick control system. EA Canada producer Justin Forrest explains: "Our new, innovative 'Century Stick' control system will change the way all fans approach gameplay as you'll now have full control over foot choice, shot selection, shot power, and shot direction - it's never felt this close to actually wielding a bat before."
The game also features a more natural camera perspective and a Quickplay system that lets you crank up the speed and drop the difficulty level for Twenty20-style wham-bam action (it lets you play fully licensed Twenty20 games) or slow things down and crank up the difficulty from proper Test Match action. And, naturally, it will let you enact the Ashes in all their glory. Check out the attached screens for an even greater insight. Let's just hope that, injuries notwithstanding, Freddie, Straussy and the boys do the business again.