The video game industry is set to kick off its busiest three months of the year.
On Aug. 25, Electronic Arts will release "Madden NFL 16," the 27th installment in the long-running series—and the game that, every year, marks the beginning of the rush of holiday titles. And for 2015, some fans are already able to play.
EA and Microsoft have paired two of their premium programs—Xbox Live and EA Access—meaning that Xbox One owners who subscribe to both were able to start playing a 10-hour trial of the game on Thursday. At the end of the trial, they can decide whether they're interested in purchasing the full game.
(Sony has opted not to partner with EA on Access, as the service is too similar to its own game-streaming service, PlayStation Now.)
"Madden" has seen its popularity fade a bit in recent years as the franchise ages. It's no longer the best-selling title of the year—and isn't always a lock for the year's Top 10 anymore. "Madden" was the second-best selling title of 2014, but it failed to make the cut in 2013.