"'Tis the season to announce annual sequels", goes the popular E3 carol, "fa la la la la, la la la la." Today we open our door to discover Konami standing on our mat, wrapped up in this frightful May weather, eyes wide with expectation as they announce Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 [official site]. Will you listen to their song, or slam the door in the face and get back to sipping mulled lager with your family round the roaring open fan?
You're a good soul, you. I knew you wouldn't be so callous.
Given that you surely know PES is Konami's own ball-kicking series, what matters here is what's new in this year's release. You nod at Konami, and these words soar from their cherubic open mouths:
"The focus of PES 2017 is the fun in playing against another player, and all the new features support this ethos. Central to the new game is 'Real Touch', which authentically reproduces a wealth of ways to receive and control a pass. Different players use varying techniques and Real Touch mimics these using complex ball physics and subtle control nuances as the pass is met. The new system is then complemented with the advent of the new 'Precise Pass' system. Precise Pass extends the Real Touch basis of using the ability of the player with the ball to determine the accuracy of each pass. The movement of the ball in relation to the position of the player and the intended target for the pass all contribute towards its accuracy, adding a genuine feeling of excitement when a defence is split with an inch-perfect ball."
As someone who doesn't play football without cars on principle but writes a few PES and FIFA news posts every year, I'd half-swear that Konami and EA take turns announcing the same features for their latest kick 'em up. Features one publisher announces one year, the other will announce the next, then back round again. Like swapping shirts at the end of a game - it's only sporting. Or maybe I'm grossly ignorant as an interloper. Who could ever say for certain?
Steam player reviews of PES 2016 are still complaining about bugs in last year's game but hey, who needs to fix a game when you can release a new one?
No word on a release date yet, but the new PES tends to come in September or November. Konami will be showing PES 2017 off at the Champions League final this weekend, and plan to reveal more at E3 in June too.