The gap between FIFA and PES has got significantly smaller over the last few years, with the 2017 variations providing the closest fight yet. Now though it’s time to start looking towards the 2018 versions – and today Konami have detailed and dated PES 2018.

Arriving on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, PS3 and PC, PES 2018 will launch come Sept 14th 2017. With a wide range of improvements being made to the series, Konami are promising that it’ll be the game ‘Where Legends Are Made’.

Now that in itself is a big statement and to help them hit their goals, the 2018 edition will hit the ground running with new features, new ways to play, a PC version which is of the standard of the console game, and an unrivalled gameplay experience. In fact, PES 2018 will feature more new additions than any other PES title in the last 10 years, and even though it’ll still deliver the famed gameplay loved by many, new additions to the control system will bring more fluidity, whilst a brand new UI makes everything a simpler process.

As we all know, control is everything in a football title, and Konami will be retaining the immediacy and total control the series is famed for alongside new refinements that hone its authenticity. Matches will be played at a more realistic pace, while a new strategic dribbling system brings greater close control, including contextual shielding to protect the ball. Simple movements of the control stick can be used to initiate shimmies designed to wrong-foot defenders, buta REAL Touch + process will be implemented, allowing players to react to receiving a ball using permissible parts of the body, to bring a pass under control dependent on the height and pace of the incoming ball.

All set piece routines have been totally reworked, with a new way of actioning penalty kicks and the one player kick off rule.

A new REAL Capture system provides true-to-life lighting across day and night games and the we’d expect the visuals to be of top quality, especially as over 20,000 components have been faithfully recreated to recreate the turf, tunnels, and the surrounding areas of stadia such as Camp Nou and Signal Iduna Park. Player movement is also closer to real life, with the motion-capturing of players within realistic environments allowing for a complete overhaul of the in-game animation system. KONAMI’s agreements with partner teams will also see tattoos recreated on players as well.

PES 2018 also allows more ways for gamers to enjoy the match day experience. Full 11-Vs-11 online options and the eternally popular myClub challenge, are joined by co-operative 2-Vs-2 and 3-Vs-3 modes with support for local guests. The much-requested ‘Random Selection’ match will return with all new content, while the Master League implements pre-season tournaments, a new transfer system and pre-match interviews and an insight to the changing rooms.

But that’s not all as with the continuing success of the PES series as an eSport, the PES LEAGUE is fully integrated into the main game. With 16 of the world’s greatest PES players set to gather ahead of June’s UEFA Champions League final to compete for a $200,000 prize, PES 2018 will allow for easy entry to next year’s competition, and add related PES LEAGUE modes surrounding myClub, Online Co-Operative matches and the Random Selection matches.

“PES 2018 is a title that finds the series at the very top of its game,” commented Masami Saso, President of Konami Digital Entertainment B.V. “It is a game that builds on the foundations of the resurgent series and has taken on board requests from our growing fan base. It is also a game with an eye on the future. As eSports continue to develop as a worldwide force, PES 2018’s inclusion of a dedicated PES LEAGUE mode removes any barrier to entry to die-hard fans and newcomers alike. KONAMI is committed to breaking new ground with the PES series, and PES 2018 sees us enter the field more confident and determined to excel than ever.”

Will these improvements see PES 2018 able to hold off the challenge of FIFA throughout the year? Well, Konami certainly won’t be doing themselves any harm if their promises come off. We will only know for sure though when both games arrive later in the year.

For now though, hit up the trailer below and be sure to give us your thoughts in the comments below. Alternatively, if you’re sold on it already, you may as well visit the Xbox Games Store and get your pre-order in right now… if only so you can get in on the Barcelona action.

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