Puck Daddy - NHL

Hope you enjoyed our coverage of NHL 2K9, with our interview with Rick Nash of the Columbus Blue Jackets, his intense Q&A with video game creators and his motion-capture suit adventures.

The bitter truth is that there was one bit of news we wanted to add to the stories, but no one from 2K Sports would go on the record to confirm it: That NHL 2K9 would be the first NHL game available on the Nintendo Wii, and that you'd literally be able to use your "Wiimote" like a hockey stick.

Today they made it official:

2K Sports, the sports publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), today announced that the next iteration of the popular hockey franchise, NHL 2K9, will be coming to the WiiTM console from Nintendo this fall.  As the first and only officially licensed NHL and NHLPA video game for Wii, NHL 2K9 will offer fans the fun opportunity to play like the pros using the Wii RemoteTM controller as a hockey stick, and enjoy playing hockey in a wholly unique and entertaining experience like never before.

"As the first and only hockey title for the Wii, it's really, really big," Bryan Lam of 2K Sports told me this afternoon. He said that when the company talked about "rebuilding the game from the ground up" and increasing the fun factor, this is sort of what they had in mind. "This year's all about bringing the fun back to hockey. And there's no better platform for that than the Wii."

Alanah over on Kuklas Korner has a mock-up of a fan-made "Wii stick," but Lam said NHL 2K9 will be used with the standard Wii Remote controller.

This announcement is a rather huge one in the gaming industry; whether it can knock protests over Wii Beer Pong out of the headlines is another story. 

To celebrate this partnership, Mario is going to walk the red carpet at the NHL Awards tonight, protecting Ovechkin from turtles and mushrooms who wish him harm. If someone can send us a photo of Mario and Mario, it'll be the lead story on Puck Daddy on Friday morning, guaranteed.

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