• Madden NFL 13's new "Connected Careers" mode will allow gamers to play as one of several all-time greats—rated according to their rookie seasons—or run a team as one of seven hall-of-fame coaches. There are 27 players and seven coaches in all, but some of these are initially available only through a pre-order.
That means, unless you're insane and preorder from every outlet, the most you'll be able to play with on release day are 23 players and 3 coaches (if you do a preorder. If not you get 22 and 2). However, EA Sports does have plans to make all of them unlockable within the Madden Ultimate Team mode.
Some interesting names on this list. Dick "Night Train" Lane is an over-looked old-timer, glad to see him aboard. Mean Joe Greene (pictured) will be a delight for Steeler fans; the late Gene Upshaw, in his role as the "Mummy," not the former head of the NFL Players Association, is another notable inclusion. They've got Dave Casper, but not my favorite Raider of all time, Phil Villapiano.
For those wondering, Greene is wearing the colors of the "Canton Greats" team in which they can be found in the game's Play Now mode. Here's the full roster, per Pasta Padre, with the preorder locations identified.
Barry Sanders (Gamestop pre-order bonus)
Jerry Rice (Best Buy pre-order bonus)
John Elway (Walmart pre-order bonus)
Lawrence Taylor (Amazon pre-order bonus)
Marshall Faulk (Origin pre-order bonus)
Bill Walsh (Best Buy pre-order bonus)
Dick Vermeil (Origin pre-order bonus)
Joe Gibbs (Amazon pre-order bonus)
John Madden (Gamestop pre-order bonus)
Tom Landry (Walmart pre-order bonus)
• The NHL, I swear, has the shortest off-season of any team sport (though yes, in football, clubs do play year round, just not in their leagues). They crowned the L.A. Kings as Stanley Cup champions this week, and we've got less than three months until NHL 13 hits shelves. Here, producer Sean Ramjagsingh explains the game's new intelligence modeling, which shows defenders anticipating passes instead of reacting solely to the current puck handler.