I was sort of surprised to hear that EA Sports was going to make another installment of NFL Head Coach after the lukewarm response to the original installment two years ago. As it turns out, though, Head Coach 09 won't be released as a standalone product - instead, it's going to be included in the newly-announced 20th Anniversary Collector's Edition of Madden 09, priced at $90.

"If we shipped Head Coach alone, it would be a full-priced SKU. But if we pack it in, we can reduce the price and make it a bonus to our fans," Madden marketing director Chris Erb told 1UP. "On the first Head Coach, we think it was a great concept, and as far as we've taken it, to be able to pack that in and pass on those savings to our consumers, if you can have one awesome pack like this -- we're really fired up."

Being a Madden franchise mode geek, I share Erb's enthusiasm for the Head Coach concept though I'm not sure I would've gone out and bought it on its own. It's not just because the original version of Head Coach was sloppy; there's also the fact that Madden 09 would be hitting stores soon afterward and the two products don't feel different enough to justify buying both. In addition, I sincerely doubt there's many sports gamers who were planning on buying Head Coach and not Madden so no one's really getting screwed here.

The 20th Anniversary Collector's Edition will also come with "bonus video content" (which I hope isn't two hours' worth of players yelling "EA Sports - IT'S IN THE GAME!"). Both the commemorative and non-commemorative editions of the game will be released for Xbox 360 and PS3 on August 13th.

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