Konami to bring Pro Evolution Soccer series to Xbox
Publisher Konami this morning confirmed long-standing rumours that the critically acclaimed Pro Evolution Soccer series will make its Xbox debut in Q4 2004 in Europe, finally giving EA some serious competition on the format.
Konami of Europe dropped a bombshell amongst the specialist press this morning that left commentators scrambling for superlatives and lesser hacks foaming at the mouth rather unprofessionally. Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) is on its way to Xbox, and will be released in Q4 2004, although the publisher has yet to clarify any specifics and would offer no comment this morning on whether or not Xbox Live options would be added to the package.
Although FIFA Football 2004 outsold every other game last year in the UK, each edition of PES is traditionally celebrated to a far greater extent by commentators on its native PS2 format. And while the most recent clash of PES and FIFA may have gone EA Sports' way in a commercial sense, critically - and amongst industry football fans, we should perhaps note - PES typically rules the roost.
Reports of PES on Xbox will be nothing new to most of you, though, thanks to a number of false starts stretching back to X03 in Europe last September and even earlier besides, however now it seems everything is in order and Konami and Microsoft are both beaming about the series' newfound outlet.
"It is one of Konami's most prestigious and important titles, and we anticipate that the Xbox version will enjoy the same phenomenal level of success as its predecessors on other formats," Konami of Europe president Kunio Neo said in today's statement.
Meanwhile, Microsoft's senior director of Xbox Platform and Marketing Michel Cassius called PES "a fantastic football simulation," and hinted at the potential for the series on the technically superior Xbox. "Coupled with the fantastic graphics and advanced gameplay that Xbox offers, we foresee one of the greatest transfers of all time when Pro Evolution Soccer signs for Xbox."
Pro Evolution Soccer should debut on Xbox in Q4 2004. The yearly PS2 update traditionally lands in October following a rousing reception at the ECTS trade event in September, and we'd expect the Xbox version to adopt a similar approach.