EA Sports made its World Cup edition of FIFA 10 official today, although the title was entirely expected and its release date was telegraphed by retailers before Christmas.

The game, for Xbox 360 and PS3, will feature all 199 countries that competed in the World Cup qualification stage and allow players to take any of them through all stages of competition. Yay, alternate-reality-in-which-Ireland-beat-France!

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EA announced the game on a Facebook page, then gave more details via an exclusive to GameSpot. According to producer Simon Humber, some of the details added for the World Cup edition include:

• A gorgeous new pitch: Our pitch simply wasn't good enough, so we've made it look superb.
• Lighting of the players and environment: Clever changes to the lighting makes everything look more realistic.
• Camera flashes: You'll see all the fans in the crowd using their cameras.
• Seat cards: Fans hold up cards to form national flags and emblems in a show of patriotism.
• Fans: Close-up shots on supporters cheering on their team or despairing in anguish.
• Confetti rains down from the sky in the team colors and stays on the pitch all game.
• Streamers create a carnival atmosphere as they glide to the ground.
• Populated benches: Characters sit on the benches rather than being empty.
• Broadcast graphics: The same captions you've seen in FIFA tournament broadcasts.
• Close-up celebration camera: To really feel the goal-scoring moment, the camera zooms in close to the player as he responds to your celebration commands.
• New players and managers: More content for star heads and many of the team managers.[England national team manager Fabio] Capello looks brilliant, and [notoriously tall English footballer] Peter Crouch no longer looks like a naughty elf.

Loads more details abound, such as home-pitch advantages and enhanced fatigue for teams playing at higher altitude venues. FIFA World Cup 2010 is due out April 27.

FIFA World Cup 2010 Q&A with Simon Huber [GameSpot]