(Pocket-lint) – The next-gen version of FIFA 21 will be free to those who bought the PS4 and Xbox One versions.
You will be able to upgrade to the dedicated versions for PS5, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S soon. It will also be made available to purchase from 4 December for those consoles if you don’t already own a current-gen copy.
But what does it add? And is there a difference between the PlayStation 5 version and Xbox Series X/S? We explain all.
FIFA 21 next-gen trailer
Although there’s not a full next-gen trailer available yet, there is a teaser – which you can watch below.
FIFA 21 next-gen release date
FIFA 21 will officially launch for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S on 4 December 2020.
As well as hit stores in standalone form, the next-gen versions game will be part of EA’s Dual Entitlement incentive. This allows PS4 and Xbox One owners to purchase the game and upgrade them to the respective PS5 and Xbox Series S/S versions.
Not only is that great for those who bought the game for current-gen already, you could find bargains and deals that way – ie. always check for discounts on the PS4 or Xbox One versions, even if you plan to play it on PS5 or Xbox Series X/S for the first time.
The only caveat is that, if you buy the physical disc copy for PS4, you will not be able to upgrade it on a PS5 Digital Edition console without a drive (you have to have the digital download version for that).
FIFA 21 next-gen features
As well as everything that’s available in the existing FIFA 21 – which you can read about in our in-depth review here – the next-gen versions will employ significant graphical enhancements and, in the case of the PS5, utilise the DualSense controller’s haptic feedback and adaptive trigger tech.
Here are the most important changes and improvements.
For Xbox Series X/S and PS5
The on-pitch graphics and overall presentation are greatly improved on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S.
LiveLight Rendering is EA Sport’s new deferred lighting system that presents in-game lighting effects in more realistic fashion, including light and shadows cast on and from players. And new Frostbite Engine abilities enable more player detail than ever before, including flexing muscles and strand-based hair physics.
Pre-game presentation includes cinematics showing teams turning up in their buses and fans entering the stadium, while new contextual player, bench and fan reactions add further drama to the action on the pitch. Finally, there is a new EA Sports GameCam that presents a match in a slightly different perspective to usual – more like what you see on TV.
Gameplay enhancements for all next-gen versions include more authentic movement in players, including the length and visual quality of their animations. Authentic character behaviours have been added too, to give more immersion in play. And, players jostle, push and pull each other during a game in a more responsive way.
Even the ball physics have been tweaked for the next-gen versions, with compression being added to the ball to give it a more authentic look and experience.
For PS5 only
PlayStation 5 owners will also benefit from features that use the unique talents of the console’s DualSense controller.
Responsive haptic feedback will give players a different feel for the game, providing more precise impact of shots, passes and tackles. But the biggest change will come with the use of the adaptive triggers.
As adaptive triggers can be adjusted by developers to provide force feedback in different stages, PS5 owners will experience increased trigger resistance as players tire on the pitch. Yep, as an on-field player loses stamina, the run trigger will be harder to pull – giving you the impression that their legs are tiring.
A final exclusive for the PS5 is the inclusion of Activity Cards, enabling players to jump into their favourite game modes from the PS5 home screen.
“We’re excited to deliver a new level of authenticity that will immerse players in the game like never before when they step out onto the virtual pitch,” said the executive producer of FIFA 21, Aaron McHardy.
“With next-level immersive experiences that truly bring the most recognisable stadiums and professional players to life, the technology behind these next-generation consoles opens up a world of possibilities for how players will experience the world’s game this year and into the future.”
Writing by Rik Henderson.