Madden 12 demo coming August 9

Now that the NFL season is safe and secure, we're allowed to get excited about football again. If you just can't wait for the season to start, or to engage in the annual tradition of buying another Madden game, you'll be pleased to know that a demo is coming to Xbox Live and PlayStation Network on August 9.

That's three full weeks before its official release on August 30 for PS3, 360, Wii, PSP, and, yes, PS2.

EA announced today that the demo will recreate last season's NFC Championship game between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field, with five-minute quarters. You might recall that the Packers won that game, 21-14, and then went on to win the Super Bowl. But hey, this is your chance to play as the Bears and pretend to change history, if you so choose.

Madden 12 will add a new communities feature. This will allow users to create their own groups of friends spanning up to 2,000 members, complete with stat- and game-tracking, private lobbies, and games played within the community or against other communities.

Other new features include tweaks to custom playbooks, the collision system, and the franchise mode.