In the wake of last week's announcement that EA will be launching this year's edition of its annual football franchise, FIFA 21, on Steam for the first time, there's bad news for PC players.
EA has confirmed that the PC players will not benefit from the improvements of the PS5 and Xbox Series X version of the game, and will instead receive the comparatively inferior PS4 and Xbox One version of the game.
The publisher announced the news in a FAQ published on the official FIFA 21 website. Clarifying which version of the game will be available on PC, EA explains, 'FIFA 21 on PC will be the same version as released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.'
While PS4 and Xbox One players can benefit from a free upgrade to the next-gen version at no extra cost via EA's Smart Delivery-like Dual Entitlement program, there's no such upgrade path on PC.
Unsurprisingly, PC players haven't taken too kindly to the news, lambasting EA for delivering a sub-par version despite higher-end PCs broadly outclassing the current-gen consoles. There's a sense that although the next-gen consoles boast some clear advantages (as we've heard about in droves, notably the near-zero load times of PS5's ultra-fast SSD), PCs could handle many of the next-gen features with little to no performance hiccups.
As for what players can expect from the PS5 and Xbox Series X version of FIFA 21, EA has pushed out the signature brand of PR-vetted blather we've come to expect in the lead up to the next iteration of FIFA. New deferred lighting system, reimagined player bodies, spatialized audio, stats-driven player movement, and off-ball humanization, are but a selection of the new features EA is promising.
While it certainly feels like PC players are getting the short end of the stick, EA's decision may benefit the vast majority of players. By pushing out the current-gen version on PC, EA can ensure most can play the game. All the next-gen features and tech would have invariably required better specifications, limiting the number who could benefit from these in any meaningful sense.
FIFA 21 is penciled in for release on October 9th for PS4, Xbox One, and PC, with PS5, Xbox One Series, and Stadia versions arriving later on.