EA has announced that FIFA 21 will launch on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on October 9 2020, sliding it in at the tail end of the current console generation. Fortunately for those fans who are currently thinking more about the next-generation PS5 and Xbox Series X, FIFA 21 will be a part of EA's new Dual Entitlement scheme.
With Dual Entitlement, players who purchase FIFA 21 on PS4 or Xbox One will be able to upgrade to the corresponding next-generation version free of charge. Basically, it sounds like EA's version of Xbox Smart Delivery.
At the moment, EA hasn’t confirmed a release date for the PS5 and Xbox Series X versions of FIFA 21—news on that will be coming later in the year—but the free upgrade will be available from the release of FIFA 21 later this year until the release of FIFA 22 sometime in 2021.
Rules to follow
In an FAQ, EA has detailed some rules around the upgrade that need to be followed but they appear to be fairly straightforward, the most important being that you can only upgrade from Xbox One to Xbox Series X or from PS4 to PS5—there’s no crossing platforms here.
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EA also notes those who pick up a physical copy of FIFA 21 on PS4 or Xbox One will need to put the disc into their next-gen console in order to be able to download the upgrade and play the game. So, if you pick up a physical copy of FIFA 21 for PS4, you’ll need to opt for the PS5 that has a disc drive.
If you’re planning to go disc-less with your next-gen purchase, you just need to make sure that you buy FIFA 21 digitally in this generation as “physical discs cannot currently be used to upgrade to disc-less consoles”.
After you’ve downloaded your next-gen upgrade, you’ll still be able to play on PS4 and Xbox One, though if EA’s promises of “blazing fast load times, deferred lighting and rendering, enhanced animation technology, off-ball humanisation, and more” bear fruit, you may not want to.
According to EA, any progress you make or content you buy in FIFA 21 Ultimate Team and any progress made in Volta will transfer from current to next-gen and back again.
Any progress made in modes like Online Seasons, Co-Op Seasons, Career Mode and Pro Clubs, however, “will be specific to the console you are playing on and won’t transfer between consoles.”
As far as cross-play is concerned for FIFA in the next-generation, EA has no exciting announcements to make, writing “allowing our players to play against each other on whichever platform they play is a long-term goal of ours. At this moment we don’t have any news, but we’re continuing to investigate its integration and will share any updates when we have them.”