The first screen shot for FIFA 12 has appeared online and although it doesn’t do much to showcase new features or gameplay it solidifies the fact that the definitive title in soccer games is on its way.

It’s hard to say much about FIFA 12 with only this screen shot to go on, but from the looks of the textures and background, it appears nothing too drastic is occurring with the visuals. We hope that this screenshot is merely preparation for a long form trailer that will showcase any of the graphical improvements that have been made to the series.

With the MLS 2011 season underway and the Champions League Finals right around the corner, it is the perfect time for EA Sports to begin showing off FIFA 12. Still, as FIFA tends to be a late fall release, gamers will have plenty of time to savor not only new gameplay details, but also some high quality live soccer events.

Without a World Cup to help increase interest in the sport, EA Sports is going to have to maintain the same amount of polish they brought to FIFA 11, while also bringing enough new content to the table, to warrant a purchase of this year’s iteration.

Unfortunately, being so early in the cycle for FIFA 12, we can’t say whether or not key elements from last year’s FIFA 11, like stamina and fatigue, will be receiving overhauls or slight tweaks.

Another topic of interest is the cover athlete for this year’s iteration. Though many big names in the sport are enjoying outstanding years, EA Sports has traditionally moved away from the obvious faces of the previous soccer season. Perhaps this year they should try something similar to Madden 12’s tournament bracket in order to let fans vote for their cover athlete(s).

What do you hope to see in this year’s iteration of the FIFA franchise? Do you think that the series will enjoy the same success it did last year without a World Cup to help increase interest?

FIFA 12 is slated for an October 2011 release date on the PS3, Xbox 360, PC, PSP, DS, Wii, NGP, and iOS devices.

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Source: EA Sports

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