Should You Buy a Brand-New Console to Play Next-Gen Soccer Simulations? | Are They Worth the Investment?


by in Sports Games | Jul, 13th 2021

Both FIFA 21 and PES 2021 are available for current and next-gen consoles. However, EA’s soccer simulation brought forth a next-gen upgrade to keep the strong next-gen hardware sweaty, whereas KONAMI had a much more lenient approach. But, fast-forward to the summer of 2021 and we’re eagerly expecting the next FIFA and PES iterations. And with PC hardware and next-gen consoles finally back in stock (in some parts of the world, at least), the question is – should you buy a next-gen console solely for the purpose of getting the most out of next-gen soccer simulations?

Obviously, when talking about soccer simulations, we’re referring to just PES and FIFA. There are other indie games out there, but they’re nowhere near the popularity, history, and fanbases of the above-mentioned duo. What do 2022 iterations of these two have in store for us; are their next-gen versions much better than the standard ones, or should you wait another year for them to catch up? Let’s find out!

EA Keeps Promising Big Things

EA being EA, they promise radical changes ahead of each new iteration of FIFA. However, the fans know by now that the less they expect, the better they’ll be once the game is out. This time around, EA came in strongly with a major announcement that’s supposedly going to revamp how next-gen soccer simulations feel and play.

Are we in for yet another incremental gameplay alteration disguised as a massive revamp? Let’s see what sort of promises they’ve told us about the upcoming FIFA 22:

HyperMotion 101

HyperMotion is the new gameplay improvement EA has announced in their FIFA 22 reveal trailer. Based on complex motion tracking and proprietary cutting-edge algorithm, HyperMotion aims to completely change what players do in FIFA matches… and by players we’re referring to in-game players not gamers.

Real-human animations, reactions and movement driven by machine learning, and much more complex tactical AI setup means we’ll no longer go through the same types of matches over and over again. But, take all this with a pinch of salt because we don’t know much more about HyperMotion. We will hopefully know a lot more by the end of this month.

However, all of this is only going to be available on next-gen consoles, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S… and Google Stadia, believe it or not.

Old-Gen on PC

Unfortunately for Origin and Steam players, FIFA 22 still won’t get a proper graphical and AI upgrades from last year, nor the all-new HyperMotion technology. This is basically a nail in the coffin for the FIFA PC version.

But wait, next-gen FIFA games have been late on PC in the past too. Yes, that’s true – but Google Stadia is running on PC hardware and it will support next-gen FIFA, meaning the PC version will exist, it just won’t be available for the masses. One thing is certain – it’s no longer about average PC hardware not being able to handle next-gen FIFA. But, let’s face it, it was never really about that, to begin with.

KONAMI’s PES 2022 Proper Free To Play Rumors

Rumor has it that the 2022 iteration of KONAMI’s PES (or eFootball) series is going to go completely free to play. No official announcement has been made, but VGC’s Andy Robinson claims it’s true. It wouldn’t be that surprising to see KONAMI’s game properly free to play… or at least more free to play than PES 2021 Lite version. It didn’t sport many features, but was still a popular choice among next-gen soccer simulations enthusiasts.

“Konami are flickering to life,” Andy Robinson said in the most recent VCG Off The Record podcast. “There’s going to be new stuff with PES this year, I hear, where they’re going to go properly free-to-play and really change it up. You’re starting to see stuff with the tech demo that they put into PS5.”

But, we still don’t know for sure if the all-new PES 2022 is going to be totally free to play. Something like that doesn’t seem very likely, especially knowing how fragile the soccer simulations’ competition is. One wrong move and KONAMI loses the race against EA… though they’ve been pretty close to losing for quite a while already.

Incremental Changes on Both Ends

Despite FIFA 22 HyperMotion tech looking good, we still don’t know a lot about it. We should find out more by the end of the month, but that won’t be enough to draw a concrete conclusion about it. Until then, it has to go down as yet another incremental gameplay change to upcoming FIFA 22.

As for PES 2022, we already know how the game plays… at least for the moment. The game’s demo was available until last week, with console gamers getting a pinch of the action early on. The impressions are that the gameplay is significantly slower than previous iterations. The animations look and feel different (read slower) too… but it’s still plays like last year’s PES, just slower.

Next-Gen Soccer Simulations | The Verdict

So, should you buy a rather expensive console just to get the best-possible, next gen soccer simulations? If you’re a FIFA gamer, the next-gen experience ought to be far superior to the one on current generation of consoles and PC. If you’re willing to pay $10 to test the waters out, feel free to grab a one-month Stadia subscription. Stadia is the cheapest solution to FIFA 22 next-gen gameplay… well, a month of it, at least.

As for PES 2022, we still don’t know much about it. We’ll know more later this month, but I reckon nothing in the reveal will be enough of a reason for you to go and splash out a ton of money for a next-gen console.

So yeah, verdict time – next-gen soccer simulations still aren’t worth buying a brand-new (and highly expensive) console.

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