The most common question heard by sports fans when a new annual iteration is announced?

"Yeah, but what's different ?"

Well, in regards to the critically acclaimed NHL franchise, EA intends to introduce "the biggest change in the franchise" since the Skill Stick in the 07 installment. Highlighted by True Performance Skating, an innovative new AI system (dubbed "EA Sports Hockey I.Q."), and the all-new GM Connected and NHL Moments Live modes, NHL 13 should be a beast of a simulator. EA is pulling out all the stops this time!

The publisher has dated and detailed this year's effort, which is scheduled to launch on September 11 in North America and three days later in Europe. Said Dean Richards, EA Sports General Manager:

"The NHL team has been a leader when it comes to innovation in the sports videogame category on this console generation by redefining player control with the introduction of the Skill Stick, creating connected experiences such as the EA SPORTS Hockey League and introducing real world physics to the team sports category. With our feature set in NHL 13, hockey fans and sports gamers have a lot to be excited about as we are again going to deliver major innovations that will change the way you play the game."

True Performance Skating adds 1,000 new animations and fresh physics; it "authentically replicates the explosiveness, momentum and top end speed displayed by today’s NHL players." The EA Sports Hockey I.Q. system dramatically ramps up the AI, and it sounds downright awesome:

"In previous NHL games, players were only aware of skaters in their immediate proximity and goalies could only react to the player in control of the puck. With EA SPORTS Hockey I.Q., all players are now fully aware of every other player on the ice, resulting in quicker, smarter and more true-to-life decision-making. EA SPORTS Hockey IQ also delivers the deepest and most customizable set of real-world hockey systems and strategies ever for the franchise."

That's just the start of the enhancements and improvements; click the link above to learn more. If that's enough to convince you, go ahead and pre-order the Stanley Cup Edition via EA Origin; this special set features an exclusive collectible Stanley Cup tin, two Stanley Cup Theme Hockey Ultimate Team packs featuring randomized player items, a Gold Jumbo Hockey Ultimate Team Pack (Regular) with 24 randomized items, a CCM Boost Pack featuring the all-new CCM RBZ stick and last but certainly not least, a 10% discount on a one-time purchase from shop.NHL.com.

Looks like hockey fans get a gem this year!

Related Game(s): NHL 13

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mike rlz
mike rlz
8 years ago

You can also vote for the cover athlete. Pavel Datsyuk!

TheCanadianGuy
TheCanadianGuy
8 years ago

pavs is a good choice but i think claude giroux deserves it this year. he had an incredible year.

mike rlz
mike rlz
8 years ago

If we were going by performance, I think it's safe to say Malkin should get the cover

TheCanadianGuy
TheCanadianGuy
8 years ago

yup he'll definitely win the heart. but i just think this year was such a coming out party for giroux plus battling though concussion problems. plus the guy still leads the playoffs in scoring after being eliminated 2 weeks ago! xD

i think malkin already got a cover. not sure