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Winning Eleven 7 gets release date

We almost broke our thumbs in excitement!

The PS2 version of Winning Eleven 7 is due out on August 7th in Japan, Konami has announced, and will feature online support via the broadband unit. Whether this is online play or merely downloads is difficult to say - the PS2 Winning Eleven 6: Final Evolution supported the broadband unit without letting you actually play online, after all. As anybody familiar with the series will have figured out, this one is another vague improvement, with most of the gameplay changes too subtle to pick out ahead of the game's release. That said, we do know that player animation has been updated again to emphasize injuries and floppy hair amongst other things.

Meanwhile, IGN reports that we can expect yet more manly box art from the series, with the cover starring Japanese coach Zico.

Historically speaking, the Japanese Winning Eleven releases have appeared several months ahead of their European "Pro Evolution" counterparts, although the game often takes on a noticeably different shape before it arrives here.