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Sports Interactive brings Football Manager to the PSP

SEGA has revealed that a version of Football Manager 2006 for the PlayStation Portable is being worked on by Sports Interactive alongside the traditional PC and Mac versions of the hugely popular soccer management sim.

SEGA has revealed that a version of Football Manager 2006 for the PlayStation Portable is being worked on by Sports Interactive alongside the traditional PC and Mac versions of the hugely popular soccer management sim.

The publisher describes the PSP version as "a game crammed with all the depth, features and functions that you would expect, combined with an optimised gameplay specifically with the handheld market in mind."

Players will have a choice of leagues from at least six countries, and up-to-date rankings and competition simulations are all present and correct. There's also a proper transfer system which will allow them to sign, borrow, sell and loan out players from their 30-strong squad.

A "realistic radio-style match engine", commentary and computer manager intelligence are also promised, and the game features coach and physio feedback plus all the stats, facts and figures needed to plan a strategy.

âThe opportunity to work on PSP was simply too good to pass up,â says Jacobson.

âThe team at SI are working really hard to create a game more skewed towards a handheld experience, whilst retaining the depth of gameplay of all of our games. The results from that so far are very impressive.â

SEGA also took the opportunity to reveal a number of the new features which will be appearing in the 2006 version of the game on PC and Mac, following on from its immensely successful debut late last year.

As long requested by fans, the game will offer a Manager Contracts feature for the first time, allowing them to negotiate with the board of directors for higher wages and transfer budgets, and even persuade them to pay for a stadium revamp.

New Player Interaction features will let gamers deal with their players on a one-to-one level and even give pep talks to teams or individual players at half time in matches, while the training module has been completely overhauled to make coaches more important, and simplify training schedules and player progress.

New media resources include cup draw and man-of-the-match news, and referee profiles will be available to players for the first time, while upgrades to the player positions feature will make picking teams easier, and a player position indicator shows where best to place players and which moves they should go for.

"As one of the lucky few to have played with some of the new features, I really can't wait to play the finished game,â says Sports Interactive MD Miles Jacobson.

âWe're delighted with the support that we've had from our community for FM2005, and the next iteration will raise the quality bar even higher.â

Football Manager 2006 is slated for a winter release on PC, PSP and Mac, and SEGA reckons it's got several more major new features to unveil before then.

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Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.