Cricket fans will be able to play out this summer's Magellan Ashes series before a ball is bowled after it was confirmed the highly-anticipated video game Ashes Cricket will be released one week ahead of the first Test.
Big Ant Studios today announced the game will hit shelves on November 16, one week out from the first Ashes Test at the Gabba on November 23.
Ashes Cricket, the first cricket game from Big Ant Studios to be fully licensed, will bring all the action of the Commonwealth Bank Women's Ashes and men's Ashes Series to Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC.
Big Ant has worked in conjunction with Cricket Australia and the England & Wales Cricket Board to create the most authentic cricket experience ever seen in a video game, with the new offering to feature photo-real depictions of the men's and women's teams from Australia and England.
The photogrammetry technology is coupled with intricate, licensed 3D models of each of the famous Australian cricket stadiums hosting the five-Test series.
"We can't wait for fans to get their hands on the game," Big Ant chief executive Ross Symons said.
"We wanted this game to build on the years of experience that we've had in developing cricket games, and we're thrilled with the results.
"Playing this game really does feel like being out there on one of Australia's iconic cricket grounds."
"Every one of our releases builds on what we've learned in previous games. We've taken fan feedback to heart and have brought innovations to the game that have resulted in a smoother and more comprehensive game of cricket."
All players have had their likenesses captured using 35 DSLR cameras to create lifelike characters in the game.
The cameras take one million photos, which are then stitched together by an algorithm to create a player's in-game likeness. There's then approximately 15 hours more work required on each player before they're considered ready to play.
The Australian game studio has a strong history of bringing high-quality cricket video games to fans, including Don Bradman Cricket 17 and the Big Bash 2016 mobile game that was downloaded more than four million times.
"Cricket Australia's new strategy recognises the growing role that gaming can play in reaching younger fans," said Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland said last month. "And by working with the likes of Big Ant to develop products that meet this need we are positioning ourselves as leaders in the cricket gaming space globally.
"The anticipation for the summer of cricket is building and this game will give our fans another way to be a part of the cricket excitement."
To add to the realism of the game, Australian cricketers Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Emma Inglis and Mackinley Blows all had their movements captured in a complex recording process.
Each player was required to move around the 360-degree field playing a wide variety of shots depending on the height of the ball, and whether the shot was aggressive, normal or defensive.
Motion capture data from the Bupa National Cricket Centre was used to recreate bowling actions for the Australian players, while the skills of the in-game competitors have been assessed by Cricket Australia's Team Performance unit.
In addition to being able to customize players, teams, stadiums, logos and match formats as per Big Ant's previous sports games, cricket fans will be able to dive right into a comprehensive career mode.
Starting right down at a local club, players will be able to work their way through the ranks with the ultimate goal of leading their country to an Ashes triumph.
Pre-orders for the game are now available and stay tuned to cricket.com.au for all the latest updates on Ashes Cricket