EA has revealed a brand new Ultimate Team card-trading mode for FIFA 09.

The service rolls out from 19th March on Xbox 360 and PS3, and will be available to trial using a starter pack for five games before any money needs to change hands.

The exact amount of money, however, is not mentioned. Nor are the prices of extra booster packs. We're after EA for comment, but have heard nothing so far.

FIFA 09 Ultimate Team mode has bronze, silver and gold cards from 30 different areas: players, staff, contracts, formations, tactics, injury healing, team talks, arenas, crowds and plenty more.

The idea is to slowly build the best team around by beating computer opponents offline and human opponents online. There's all sorts of leagues and tournaments to take part in, and, slowly but surely, available resources will rise and soon the top stars will be within reaching distance.

Teams can be customised right down to their badges, and each Ultimate Team player can sculpt a virtual player to join their ranks.

EA reckons this will add "hundreds of additional hours" of gameplay to FIFA 09; matches from which are already played 1.25 million times a day, we're told.

Head over to our FIFA 09 Ultimate Team mode gallery to see what this all looks like.

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Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

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Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.

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