It doesn't involve a realistic roster or league licensing, so it's sometimes hard to remember that SSX is an EA Sports title. And the snowboarding reboot should be one of the bigger ones for the label in the coming year. But with a lineup crowded by more traditional fare in the first two months, SSX has seen its ship date move once and now twice, thanks to NFL and tennis products.
SSX is set to arrive Feb. 28, a two week delay from its Feb. 14 release, which was delayed from a mid-January target. That gives room to the NFL Blitz downloadable title in January, and then Grand Slam Tennis 2, announced for Feb. 14 today, marking EA Sports' first tennis offering on the current console generation.
SSX, then, occupies the swing week that Fight Night Champion did last year, trying to shine light in the absolute nadir of the sports schedule—that pole of inaccessibility between the Super Bowl and the beginning of the NCAA Tournament. You can get a look at SSX's gameplay in this new trailer.
It also takes SSX out of direct competition with UFC Undisputed 3, which may be more of a favor to UFC Undisputed 3 than to Grand Slam Tennis 2. Then again, it's hard to imagine the type of gamer who would buy both an MMA title and a tennis sim, as opposed to MMA and snowboarding. EA may be hoping to capture renters or two-week play-and-trade players by moving SSX later.
Grand Slam Tennis 2 by the by, announced its cover athletes today and, briefly anyway, uploaded a demo to Xbox Live. It's now gone. But Novak Djokovic, who won three Grand Slam tennis tournaments in a single year (most recently done by Roger Federer in 2006 and 2004), is the cover star for all of them. He will be joined by Maria Sharapova and the U.S. hall of famer John McEnroe on the global cover; by Rafael Nadal and Jo-Wilfred Tsonga in France; by Nadal and Sharapova in Spain, and by Federer and all-time great Boris Becker in Germany.