Konami has also fired a warning shot at rival EA, insisting that Pro Evolution Soccer is still far superior to the FIFA franchise.
“It is all very well for EA to say that FIFA is making great strides, but general opinion suggests that they still have a long way to go before they can match the intuitive and absorbing gameplay of Pro Evolution Soccer,” said Konami’s PES team leader Jon Murphy.
“That is not to say that we are resting on our laurels, though. PES 2009 has a vast number of new additions that elevate it far beyond anything anyone else is doing.”
Konami has secured the Champions League licence for four years, which allows the firm to use all the elements and attributes of the popular competition within PES.
The publisher has also signed agreements with Premier League clubs Liverpool and Manchester United, giving it permission to use the players, kits and logos from both teams in the title. PES 2009 is also the official video game of the England national team, with Wembley featured as one of the new grounds.
“With the addition of the Champions League and agreements with two of the UK’s biggest clubs in Manchester United and Liverpool, we are working hard to bring fresh licences to the Pro Evolution Soccer series,” continued Murphy.
“We have the most realistic recreation of Wembley, a team roster that features the biggest teams in Europe, and a stunning online mode. We believe that this version of PES is the perfect step-on for newcomers to the series, but also a game that will keep existing fans of the franchise more than happy.”
Konami has also confirmed to MCV that the 2009 edition will feature vast improvements over the previous game, including improved AI, new control methods, a graphical overhaul and key online enhancements. Lionel Messi has also been confirmed as the game's cover star (see picture).
PES 2009 will be released on October 17th for 360, PS3 and PC, with a PS2 and PSP version coming shortly after. A Wii title is also due out in the spring.