We’ve been longing for a resurrection of the arcade sports games genre for a while now. With the digital distribution platforms on consoles today favoring quick, online-enabled titles, games like NBA Jam seem to be a perfect fit. And yet, for whatever reason, no one has stepped up to the plate… until now. By some sort of divine intervention, a brand new EA 3-on-3 hockey arcade game for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 has been revealed.

IGN has word that my countrymen at EA Canada are preparing 3 on 3 NHL Arcade, a throw-back to the old-school arcade-style hockey games like NHL Hitz and Rock the Rink. The game is scheduled to land in February for $9.99 (800 Microsoft Points) and will be fully-licensed with real teams and real players. The “no rules” style of play will feature the huge hits, over-the-top special moves, and power-ups that define any good arcade-style sports game. A welcome return to a more simplistic, button-based control scheme and online multiplayer support round out the package.

This is extremely exciting. These kinds of games should be available in droves for the Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network; I’m hoping that EA’s move will prompt other companies to react. The only thing that could top this would be a full HD revamp of NBA Jam with online multiplayer. Midway, you need money, right? Follow EA Canada’s lead here. My wallet is already open and anxiously awaiting February for this one.

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