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(Pocket-lint) - The next-gen version of FIFA 21 is now available!

You can buy it for PS5, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S or get it as a free download if you already own the PS4 and Xbox One versions.

But what does it add? How do you download it? And is there a difference between the PlayStation 5 version and Xbox Series X/S? We explain all.

FIFA 21 next-gen trailers

Although there's no gameplay trailer as such, here are a couple of teasers - which you can watch below.

This next one shows the level of fidelity and lighting effects in a cinematic opener - which you can view in-game before matches.

FIFA 21 next-gen release date and price

FIFA 21 is now officially available for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S.


However, as well as hit stores in standalone form, the next-gen versions game are also available as part of EA's Dual Entitlement incentive. This enables PS4 and Xbox One owners to upgrade to the respective PS5 and Xbox Series S/S versions for free.

The only caveat is that, if you bought the physical disc copy for PS4, you will not be able to upgrade it on a PS5 Digital Edition console without a drive (you have to have the digital download version for that).

EA SportsFIFA 21 PS5 and Xbox Series X/S release date, screens, features and everything you need to know photo 4

How to download the FIFA 21 PS5 and Xbox Series X/S update

The update works differently depending on your console.

On the PS5, you will have to download a second copy of the game - the PS5 version - which we found in the store as a free download (it wasn't listed in our Game Library).

Make sure you delete your previous PS4 version otherwise you might find it is hard to tell which version you are starting, plus it'll take up extra storage space. Just be aware that save games cannot carry over from PS4 to PS5, only your progress in Ultimate Team and Volta.

It seems to be a similar process for Xbox Series X/S, but we are yet to confirm.

FIFA 21 next-gen features

As well as everything that's available in the existing FIFA 21 - which you can read about in our in-depth review here - the next-gen versions employ significant graphical enhancements and, in the case of the PS5, utilise the DualSense controller's haptic feedback and adaptive trigger tech.

Here are the most important changes and improvements.

For Xbox Series X/S and PS5

The on-pitch graphics and overall presentation are greatly improved on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S.

LiveLight Rendering is EA Sport's new deferred lighting system that presents in-game lighting effects in more realistic fashion, including light and shadows cast on and from players. And new Frostbite Engine abilities enable more player detail than ever before, including flexing muscles and strand-based hair physics.

EA SportsFIFA 21 PS5 and Xbox Series X/S release date, screens, features and everything you need to know photo 1

Pre-game presentation includes cinematics showing teams turning up in their buses and fans entering the stadium, while new contextual player, bench and fan reactions add further drama to the action on the pitch. Finally, there is a new EA Sports GameCam that presents a match in a slightly different perspective to usual - more like what you see on TV.

Gameplay enhancements for all next-gen versions include more authentic movement in players, including the length and visual quality of their animations. Authentic character behaviours have been added too, to give more immersion in play. And, players jostle, push and pull each other during a game in a more responsive way.

Even the ball physics have been tweaked for the next-gen versions, with compression being added to the ball to give it a more authentic look and experience.

For PS5 only

PlayStation 5 owners also benefit from features that use the unique talents of the console's DualSense controller.

Responsive haptic feedback gives players a different feel for the game, providing more precise impact of shots, passes and tackles. But the biggest physical change comes with the use of the adaptive triggers.

As adaptive triggers can be adjusted by developers to provide force feedback in different stages, PS5 owners get increased trigger resistance as players tire on the pitch. Yep, as an on-field player loses stamina, the run trigger is harder to pull - giving you the impression that their legs are tiring.

A final exclusive for the PS5 is the inclusion of Activity Cards, enabling players to jump into their favourite game modes from the PS5 home screen.

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"We're excited to deliver a new level of authenticity that will immerse players in the game like never before when they step out onto the virtual pitch," said the executive producer of FIFA 21, Aaron McHardy.

"With next-level immersive experiences that truly bring the most recognisable stadiums and professional players to life, the technology behind these next-generation consoles opens up a world of possibilities for how players will experience the world’s game this year and into the future."

Writing by Rik Henderson.