Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 coming this fall

Americans might not care much for soccer, but the sport is kind of a big deal everywhere else in the world, where rabid fans wait with bated breath each year for the announcements of their beloved soccer games. Konami beat EA to the punch this time around — today, they announced that Pro Evolution Soccer 2010, this year’s iteration of their long-running fútbol franchise, will be out this fall.

The first screenshot from the game can be seen above (check the gallery for a larger one), and there’s a rather long press release after the jump. For many years, PES was regarded as a better soccer sim than EA’s FIFA series, but the perception has flipped recently, especially with last year’s stellar FIFA 09. PES has some catching up to do, and it seems that Konami realizes that.

Last summer, EA came right out and promised “over 250 additions and enhancements to core gameplay” in FIFA 09, and EA Canada was able to deliver. The press release announcing PES 2010 explains that the dev team, PES Productions, evaluated feedback and “created a dedicated number of sub-teams,” each of which will focus on a specific area of the game. With improvements mentioned in key fields like gameplay, graphics, and AI, it appears that Konami’s going to try and strike back with a vengeance and reclaim PES’ throne. We’ll have to wait and see how it turns out.

Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 will be released on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation Portable — so once again, EA doesn’t have any challengers on the Wii. Finally, the press release also mentions that Lionel Messi will be involved in endorsing the game again, but he hasn’t been confirmed as the cover athlete yet.


First Details of Konami’s Next Addition to its Legendary Soccer Franchise Are Revealed

El Segundo, Calif. – April 8, 2009 – Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc., announced today that its forthcoming Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 (PES 2010) title will include the biggest set of new features in franchise history, with every aspect of the game benefiting from key improvements. Following months of analysis and feedback from the fans, PES 2010 is scheduled for release on the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system, PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Windows PC and PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system this Autumn with enhancements in every area of the game.

Konami’s development team, PES Productions, have collected positive and negative comments from PES players and the media and incorporated it into the new game. The result will be the most challenging, realistic and satisfying PES experience to date!

Konami has spent the last year expanding the development team’s capabilities, and created a number of dedicated sub-teams, each striving to further improve their respective parts of the game both in the short and long term. Key additions and improvements include:

  • Gameplay: PES 2010 focuses on enhancing the excitement of matches between players, making for a truly challenging experience that will constantly test the player. Intuitive zonal defending will cover spaces and players need to look constantly for new ways to attack. PES 2010 focuses on being a real soccer simulation, as it requires both strategic play and quick reactions, as in real life. In addition to key out-field elements, goalkeepers are more versatile and with abilities matching those of modern shot-stoppers. The game’s referees have also been reworked, with smarter AI elements allowing them to make more balanced calls during matches.
  • Improved Visuals: PES 2010 has undergone a major visual revamp, with its celebrated player likenesses and animations now even closer to those of real-life players — including live player expressions to be depicted with an improved lighting system which differentiates between various conditions! Stadium detail is also massively improved, with the grass and other in-stadium elements finely depicted.
  • All-new animation and moves: Animations now dovetail into each other seamlessly, with dribbling and shots on goals worked into dribbling animations. More individual skills are also on show, including new flicks and tricks that have a definite showing on the way a game flows. Several elements have been completely reworked, with the dribbling, turning and kicking animations greatly enhanced, while there is a noticeable change in pace when a player passes a ball from a standing position than from within a run.
  • Match-Day Atmosphere: Crowd reactions to the on-field action are now more varied, with all new chants and cheers. The subtle, real life differences between home and away matches will be evident and the crowd will react spontaneously to specific situations in a game, showing their disdain or pleasure as fouls are committed and goals scored. Additionally, the commentary has been altered to offer an updated, more concise overview of the game.
  • Enhanced Master League: Seen by many as a key contributor to the series’ success, Master League will be enhanced to feature a managerial aspect enabling gamers to enjoy managing a team for a longer span of time. The Master League elements in PES 2010 have been bolstered by far-ranging and vital new feature additions, dedicated to enriching the mode. Further details will be announced shortly.
  • AI: PES Productions has worked to improve the AI of the game by implementing Teamvision 2.0. Midfielders and defenders now work together to cover open space and close down attacks. This also has the additional effect of removing soft goals and returning PES 2010 to its roots as a soccer simulation. In terms of attacking, players can now move several players at the same time, dispersing them to open areas of the field to create more scoring options giving the player more control. In free kick scenarios, for instance, players can now instigate the runs of the players awaiting the ball in the penalty area. Strategic thinking will be as important as quick passing, and the new system greatly open up the way a player views and utilizes each team member in the field of play.
  • Individual Play Characteristics: In previous PES games, the team formation would determine the movements of the team. PES 2010 introduces a new system wherein the individual attack and defense tendencies of each teammate will come into effect. Each player enjoys unique AI tied into their abilities, and is reflected in the actions of their teammates — i.e. if a player who is in possession of the ball is known for his crossing skills, more teammates will pack the penalty box to receive it. Similarly, if a player is known to be good with close control, defenders will work to cover their stronger side, while lone strikers will be automatically supported by midfielders upon receiving the ball.
  • Strategy Use: A new power gauge system allows users to balance their strategy in a quick, but wide-ranging way before a match. Every element — pass frequency, movement, the line of defense, width of play, or the position of the front line — can be altered to match those of a favored club: Juventus Turin are a dangerous side on the counter-attack, for instance, while FC Barcelona use width in their attack. These formulations can also be altered at any point with Home and Away matches forcing different circumstances on the user, as does the rigors of a Master League season.
  • Penalties: An all-new system has been implemented, offering greater control, placing and accuracy.
  • Enhanced Online: A new dedicated section of the PES production team is committed to improving the online side of PES 2010. More downloadable content is also planned. Konami has supported PES 2009 with the release of new licensed teams, transfer updates, etc, and this support will grow for PES 2010. Team and content updates are planned throughout the game’s lifespan. These will make the game even more bespoke to the player’s match day needs.

Konami has strengthened its relationship with UEFA and can announce it has secured the exclusive video game rights for the Europa League License (formerly known as the UEFA Cup). In addition Konami will be enhancing and developing the use of the UEFA Champions League within PES 2010 to make even better use of the best club football competition in the world.

Konami has also confirmed that Lionel Messi will once again be a key endorsement player for PES 2010 and will be an active participant in the promotion and development of the game up through launch.

“We have been monitoring feedback and comments on the progression of the PES series for some time now, and PES 2010 will see us implementing a great deal of the ideas players have been requesting,” commented Naoya Hatsumi, Producer for PES Productions at Konami Digital Entertainment Japan. “We aim to make PES 2010 a more user-friendly, and immediate experience that places the emphasis on getting straight into the gameplay for which the series is famed. PES 2010 will look better, will play better, and will recreate real soccer as closely as the current hardware will allow.”

More detailed descriptions about new features and updates will be revealed in the coming months.

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Samit Sarkar
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