Konami has officially confirmed that Pro Evolution Soccer 4 will be fully playable over Xbox Live, ending months of speculation over its online plans for the title, and revealed that it will ship in November along with the PC version.
The Xbox version of PES4 will feature support for real-time matches online - a first for the series - and will also include a rating system and the option for players to form mini-leagues with their friends.
Full details of player numbers and league set-ups should be announced in the coming weeks, although it's expected that the leagues will allow players to issue invitations to other players to join and then tot up all the statistics you'd expect (games played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against, points, etc) as the group plays out the fixtures.
The PS2 version of the game will be released in mid-October, and like the PC version, is not expected to include the online functionality of the Xbox version.
"The inclusion of Xbox Live in Pro Evolution Soccer 4 is another example of Konami of Europe listening to its consumers," Konami of Europe president Kunio Neo commented. "The ability to play this incredible online will introduce Pro Evolution Soccer 4's many subtleties and intricacies to a whole-new audience, and further expand its reputation as the ultimate football experience."
"WeÃ¢â'¬—¢re very excited that Pro Evolution Soccer 4 will include Xbox Live functionality," said Michel Cassius, senior director of Xbox platform and marketing. "Xbox Live will bring a whole new level of football excitement to Pro Evolution Soccer 4 fans and we welcome its debut on Xbox as it joins the ever-growing line-up of Xbox Live titles coming to Xbox this Christmas."