Madden NFL arriving for 3DS kickoff

EA Sports aims to have pigskin simulation series in the huddle when Nintendo's handheld hits stores in the first half of next year.

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NFL diehards may dread the stretch between the early-February Super Bowl and the mid-September start to the new season each year, but Electronic Arts is looking to help fill that time this year with a new Madden on a new platform. The publisher today announced that Madden NFL Football will be ready for the launch of Nintendo's 3DS handheld.

The original Madden box art practically begged for the 3D treatment.
The original Madden box art practically begged for the 3D treatment.

While EA's announcement was headlined that the game would be available "at Nintendo 3DS launch," the publisher's statement made multiple mentions to the game launching "in the first half of 2011." The 3DS is scheduled to launch in Japan on February 26, with US and European releases to follow in March. As of press time, EA had not returned GameSpot's request for clarification.

In addition to the standard 11-on-11 simulation, Madden NFL Football on the 3DS will feature five-on-five and season modes, with players able to further tailor the game to their level of expertise with classic, arcade, or GameFlow play calling (introduced in this year's multiplatform Madden NFL 11). The game will also allow players to draw out plays on the system's touch screen. The game is being developed in Raleigh by EA North Carolina.

When it comes out, Madden NFL Football will be the first installment on the series for a Nintendo portable since Madden NFL 09. Released in 2008 on the DS, Madden NFL 09 featured then-recently retired (and then unretired) quarterback Brett Favre on the cover.

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