Electronic Arts and 2K Sports have always had a (not-so-friendly) rivalry, but the latest spate over their hockey games (NHL 09 and NHL 2K9, respectively) just reached epically hilarious proportions.
Earlier today, 2K launched an Xbox 360-exclusive demo of NHL 2K9. Just 30 minutes later, EA announced it had uploaded a PS3-exclusive (for now) demo of NHL 09. The Xbox 360 version of EA’s NHL 09 demo will appear “in early September.”
Like 2K’s demo, EA’s demo lets players re-live last season’s Stanley Cup Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings. The demo showcases NHL 09’s new “Be A Pro” mode, complete with a dynamic new camera that puts the focus on the gamer’s player.
When the retail version of NHL 09 ships, the Be A Pro career mode will put gamers in the skates of an up-and-coming star who starts in the AHL and works his way up to the NHL. A new Performance Tracker will rate gamers’ play in more than 60 categories.
NHL 09 will also introduce a new online team play mechanic via the EA Sports Hockey League. Players will be able to take their created NHL star online and join a team with friends or scout for players. The online games will support six vs. six online play and the ability to level up the player.
Finally, the game introduces “Defensive Skill Stick,” which lets players use an improved poke check, sweep their stick 360 degrees to block passing lanes, or lift an opponent’s stick when playing defense.