The Italian-born referee will feature on the packaging of the PC and PlayStation 2 versions of the eagerly-awaited game. Collina has been selected as he is synonymous with the game and is known and respected by football fans all over the globe.
Pierluigi Collina was born in Viareggio in Italy in 1960 and after a flirtation as a player and following national service, pursued a full-time career as a financial advisor before taking up refereeing part-time. In 1983 he passed the necessary qualifications to oversee national matches, officiating in lower league matches. Since then, he has risen through the ranks of his native Italian Serie C1 and C2, Serie B and Serie A leagues, and now oversees the biggest matches - including 2002's World Cup Final between Germany and Brazil - and key Champions' League, UEFA Cup and European Qualifying games. During this time he has also won a number of awards, including the Italian Players Association's 'Oscar del Calcio' referee of the year in 1997, 1998, 2000 and 2002, while he won the International Football Federation of History and Statistics world award for five years running between 1998-2002.
"Pierluigi Collina sums up everything that is great about modern football and Pro Evolution Soccer 3," commented Martin Schneider, Director European Marketing & PR for Konami of Europe. "He is an uncompromising, no nonsense figure who enjoys the respect of everybody in the game - from fans through to the world's most famous players and leading managers. With such a strong pedigree, we are naturally delighted that Mr Collina has agreed to front the packaging for a football game that shares so many of his traits. Pro Evolution Soccer 3 will be one of our key titles this year, and Mr Collina will help to extend aware of the game to a wider range of football fans."
Konami of Europe's Pro Evolution Soccer series is rightly regarded as the pinnacle of console football titles, and Pro Evolution Soccer 3 is certain to set new standards for console and PC football games. Befitting a series seen as the definitive football experience for any format, Pro Evolution Soccer 3 represents a mammoth step forward for the series, with every aspect of the game massively reworked, with new player models, on and off the ball moves and key additions to the Master League incorporated into the new game.
Every aspect of the game has been thoroughly overhauled and in addition to the series' renowned cup tournaments, friendly matches and a new, four-division Master League, developers Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo (KCE TYO) has also added a 'Shop' element to the game. This adds additional depth to the series, as players accumulate points via the training and exhibition modes. These in turn can be traded for new stadiums, crowd effects, teams, players, strategies and hair styles, rewarding the player for prolonged play.
Pro Evolution Soccer 3 has also undergone a radical aesthetic overhaul, with KCE TYO renewing over 80% of the in-game animations, and a new graphics engine allowing the greatest level of detail seen in the series. Combined, Pro Evolution Soccer 3 benefits from players that not only look identical to their real-life counterparts, but move like them, too. Similarly, the players have improved AI and ball physics that allows them to pull off moves specific to particular situations. As such, long-range drives are now more controllable than before, while players can flick the ball over a defender with their heel and perform deft turns to bypass oncoming defenders.
Pro Evolution Soccer 3 will be released for PlayStation 2 on October 17th, price TBC. A PC version will also be released in Q4, 2003.
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