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GLOBAL VR Takes Need for Speed Underground to the Coin-op Streets

SAN JOSE, Calif., February 15, 2005 — Players around the world are ready to shift into high gear as the top-selling racing videogame, Need for Speed™ Underground, comes to coin-op.

GLOBAL VR® has licensed Need for Speed Underground from Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) and is forging new territory by offering the coin-op community a unique, dynamic player experience with this well-recognized driver. Need for Speed Underground taps into the current "tuner" culture of urban street racing by offering the most notable licensed cars such as Toyota Supra, Mitsubishi Eclipse, Nissan 350Z and the respected Nissan Skyline GTR which, while having a dedicated, domestic following, is an import and not commercially available in the US.

"That Need for Speed Underground features the street tuners our target audience actually owns and races (or wants to own and race) in real life is a large part of its appeal. The gameplay is a realistic experience in that the player can actually feel the difference in handling between the cars; they have been fine-tuned to reflect the subtleties specific to each automobile type," shares industry veteran and Need for Speed Underground Coin-op Producer, John Ray. The scenes-set at night and with various level-appropriate obstacles such as construction, excess accompanying traffic or varying road conditions-boast graphics designed by an Oscar-nominated Hollywood visual effects expert.

Need for Speed Underground , initially, will feature three modes of play: race, career and tournament*. In Career mode, players can run their car through a series of 81 challenging races to earn parts and upgrades. Not only will players be able to earn performance upgrades, they will be able to earn the ability to alter the actual appearance of their car, making its customization truly unique by adding assets such as graphics or ground effects. Tournament modes will include national cash-prize tournaments-a first for coin-op driving-as well as operator-run tournaments. Players will be able to choose circuit or drag track styles, 6-speed manual or automatic transmission and, of course, their car. The increasingly popular drift track style is expected in future updates.

GLOBAL VR has been preparing for the coin-op release of this laudable mega-title for a very long time-to the point of positioning games for free play at well-known auto show, Hot Import Daze, so that enthusiasts and end-users could have the opportunity to provide valuable feedback in its early developmental stages. " The players weren't shy about offering their opinions," says GLOBAL VR Product Marketing Director, Wes Harris, but, rather, "they were very specific about what they wanted to see in the game and what they could live without. We used their feedback to re-design the 6-speed shifter and to relocate the nitrous button. Now, in all cabinet configurations, the shifter feels more like a real street tuner than any other game, and the nitrous button is a short throw from the steering wheel and the shifter."

Avid race fan and dedicated player, Joey Cuellar, had this to say about the newest GLOBAL VR driver: " Need for Speed Underground is a big change from ( Need for Speed ) GT. It packs a punch and delivers features true racing fans crave. With the introduction of the NOS system, it adds more depth to the overall gameplay-knowing when and where to use it will add months to the replay value. This is definitely a racing game I would leave my house for every day to play."

Need for Speed Underground will also support the new GLOBAL VR Players' Card. With the new card, players can customize their car as well as unlock additional or advanced game features. National cash-prize tournaments will launch this spring, offering a $10,000, monthly prize pool. Upgrade kits will also be made available for existing Need for Speed coin-op games .

Golf and football tournament players will be able to use the SmartCard format Players' Card they currently have to access the online features of Need for Speed Underground . Product Marketing Director, Wes Harris, elaborates, "This gives operators a pre-existing group of players, ready to experience the tournament modes of Need for Speed Underground ."

Need for Speed Underground is set to ship in March 2005. Call your local distributor for more details.


For further information please contact:

Barb Roy
Phone: (408) 597-3400 ext: 2409
Fax: (408) 597-3431


*Tournaments are not sponsored or administered by Electronic Arts or its Licensors.

Electronic Arts and Need for Speed are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Mitsubishi and Eclipse names, emblems and body designs are trademarks and/or intellectual property rights of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation and used under license to Electronic Arts Inc. NISSAN, 350Z and SKYLINE are trademarks and/or intellectual property right of NISSAN MOTOR CO., LTD. and are used under license to Electronic Arts Inc. Toyota and Supra are trademarks of Toyota Motor Corporation, and used with permission. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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