Last year's Madden NFL 10 demo let you play four quarters just one minute long each, though a GameStop preorder did give special access to a longer game. This year, EA Sports is giving everyone five-minute quarters to try out.
The reason: Madden's new GameFlow - in which the CPU calls plays for you like an offensive or a defensive coordinator, providing advice on their execution - needs to be played in more than a hurry-up drill context.
"We felt that five-minute quarters (which is the default quarter length in Madden NFL) provides fans the best opportunity to fully experience the GameFlow system, as well as get a feel for the new locomotion and dual stick controls," said EA Sports spokesman Rob Semsey. "We'll have more details to announce, including some surprises for the Madden NFL 11 demo very soon."
This year's demo will feature a rematch of last year's AFC Championship game between the New York Jets and the Indianapolis Colts, a choice made by fan voting. No word yet on when, exactly, it will be released.
By "some surprises", it wouldn't shock me to see some unlockables in the main game tied to downloading and playing the demo. NCAA 11 rewarded players with 11 new uniform varieties for playing all four of its matchups and for sending a friend a message about the game.