Konami has sent word that Gradius V for the PlayStation 2 has shipped to retail outlets nationwide. The game is the latest installment in one of Konami's classic franchises and marks the return of the Vic Viper space ship.

In celebration of the game's release, Konami will host a national online high score contest where players can win exclusive Gradius memorabilia and prizes including a special "Gradius V Breakdown Director's Cut" DVD. Gamers can enter the contest on Konami's website at www.konami.com/gradius5 from September 17th to October 1st.

Gradius V is rated "T" for Teen by the ESRB and is available for an SRP of $29.99.