Peter Moore unveils first Madden NFL 10 screenshot

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Last year, the consensus held that Madden NFL 09 was a huge step forward for a franchise that had grown stale. In a surprising and welcome change, EA Tiburon has been very transparent with the development process for Madden NFL 10, keeping gamers updated with weekly posts on the Inside EA Sports blog. The blogs have focused on all kinds of improvements to the game — such as new technology and updated ratings — with the constant refrain being that the developers are aiming to deliver the most realistic football videogame ever made.

This week, however, no new Madden-related post appeared on the Inside EA Sports blog. Instead, we were treated to an update from EA Sports President Peter Moore himself. In it, Moore hinted at the choice for this year’s cover athlete, which will be revealed late next month, with the phrase “fight for every yard.” Of course, this has led to rampant speculation on the Internet, with many gamers guessing that it will be a running back (perhaps the Giants’ Brandon Jacobs or the Vikings’ Adrian Peterson) or a wide receiver (maybe the Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald or the Steelers’ Santonio Holmes, the MVP of Super Bowl XLIII).

The blog post also included a special goodie: the very first screenshot of Madden NFL 10 (you can gawk at the unadulterated image in the gallery below). Sadly, it’s not an HD-res image, but it’s certainly quite impressive regardless. Immediately, I noticed that the depth-of-field filter looks fantastic, and players’ hand towels are a welcome addition, too. We’re also finally going to have referees on the field of play, and of course, the player models themselves are superb.

Moore also teased that more info would be released in the weeks leading up to the NFL Draft (April 25-26) and the announcement of the Madden 10 cover athlete. Who’s as excited as I am?

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