Konami has quietly released ‘New Football Game Online Performance Test’ onto the PlayStation Store and Xbox Store, a time-limited demo that is seemingly intended to test online infrastructure for the new generation of Pro Evolution Soccer. A full announcement of Konami’s next football game – presumably called eFootball PES 2022? – is planned for 21st July 2021.
The demo is live now, running until 8th July 2021 at 1AM BST (UK time) and can be found for PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S at the following links:
- Download New Football Game Online Performance Test for PS5 & PS4
- Download New Football Game Online Performance Test for Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One
Aside from testing online functionality, Konami state that pretty much everything else is subject to change:
The purpose of this beta test is to evaluate the quality of the online matchmaking and connection to the servers.
Please note that gameplay mechanics, balancing, animations and graphics are all under development and will be improved before the official launch.
Four teams are playable in the demo: Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Barcelona.
However, what’s particularly interesting for fans of video game tech is that the company is seemingly jumping over to Unreal Engine. Ever since Pro Evolution Soccer 2014, Konami’s football games have used the Fox Engine that was built by Kojima Productions for the development of Metal Gear Solid V. That game was released for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360, but the Fox Engine has persisted all through the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One generation.
Konami’s football series has been on the back foot since losing the UEFA Champions League license to EA and their FIFA series a few years ago. Since then they have been constantly making exclusive deals with individual leagues and teams, most recently signing up Series A side Atalanta. In the last year they’ve also signed the likes of Napoli, AS Roma and Juventus, some in exclusive deals that see them dropped from EA’s FIFA games.