First details on Madden NFL 10

Yes, Madden NFL 10 — as opposed to Madden NFL 2010 — is the official name of this year’s installment in EA Sports’ storied football franchise. I wish it wasn’t true, but it is. I still think it sounds stupid, but hey, EA doesn’t care about its consumers, right?

Wrong. The good folks at EA Sports have set up a new site, the Inside EA Sports blog. It’s designed to give gamers an arena to voice their opinions and have a say in how the games turn out. Like the Obama administration’s White House blog, which is all about transparency and keeping Americans updated on political happenings — it’s often updated multiple times a day — Inside EA Sports presents a special behind-the-scenes look at the development and promotion of EA Sports titles.

Yesterday, at halftime of Super Bowl XLIII — in which the resilient Pittsburgh Steelers gave up a 13-point fourth-quarter lead to the Arizona Cardinals but still came back to beat them in a nail-biting finish, 27-23 (which I effing called, by the way!) — the Inside blog posted a first look at Madden 10, and it contained some very promising details.

An infamous, infuriating scenario was presented to the readers — the ol’ “DB with eyes in the back of his head” — and according to the blog, that won’t happen in Madden 10 because of some new technology that EA Tiburon is implementing: “procedural awareness.” You can check out a tech demo of it in the video above.

Basically, it’s going to eradicate the “omniscient defender” issue — now, defensive players will have to turn around to see the ball if they want to make a play on it. Awesome, eh? This goes deeper; the shoulders and spine can be “pulled” to follow the eyes and head for more realistic in-game visuals. The blog post also discusses player attitudes, which can be dynamically generated, and asks readers for submissions on where they’d like to see PA used in Madden 10. Keep your eyes on Inside EA Sports for more!

Samit Sarkar