to access exclusive content, comment on articles, win prizes and post on our forums. Not a member yet? Join now!

Why FIFA 14 is better on Xbox One: "we've hit the limit" on Xbox 360, confesses EA

There's "no way" next gen animation systems will run at 60 FPS on current gen

Just in case the revelation that it has "ten times the animation" leaves you in any doubt as to FIFA 14 Xbox One's superiority over the Xbox 360 version, here's producer Nick Channon with extended thoughts on how current gen and next gen FIFA differ. Supposedly, it would be impossible to run the higher-end game's animations and Pro Instincts features on Xbox 360 without severe compromises to the frame rate.

"For us it's just about using the power of the machine, in terms of much more processing power and significantly more memory, and using the power of the Ignite engine - I'm sure you've heard about that - to bring all these things together," Channon began, when we picked his brains on the subject at Gamescom. "So that we take those new advantages to create elements we probably wouldn't have been able to do before.


"There's a couple of very key things. The first is animation - if you look at where we are with Xbox 360, we're obviously very proud of the game we've made, it's another great game this year, but we're starting to hit the limit of memory, which means that we can't easily add lots of new animations.

"So what we're able to do is add hundreds and hundreds of new animations within the game," he continued. "Which firstly add nice variety, which is cool, but secondly are key to getting new behaviours, new elements that we haven't had before. For example, we didn't always have the passing coverage within 180 degrees, so the ball would come in to your feet, and you'd have to take a touch and turn. Whereas now we have more animation coverage, it can be done in one fluid movement, with the same feeling of control.

"Another example is around heading and shooting," Channon explained. "Again, we didn't always have enough memory to get the angle coverage, for every single area around the box. So with certain angles you might not get the shot or the header off them you're expecting, which gets slightly frustrating."

Players no longer simply animate believably, however - they also react as human beings would to the prospect of a collision. EA terms this the Pro Instincts system. "We introduced the Player Impact system [with FIFA 12], which is a physics-driven collision system," Channon went on. "What we can now do with the extra processing power is project into the future. It may sound silly but it's crucial because it gives players positional awareness.

This isn't a cosmetic change, he insisted - FIFA fans will be more in tune with the virtual footballers under their hands, able to read an encounter more subtly. "When you don't know in advance what's coming, as the player, the collision looks great but you can't necessarily act to avoid it. Where this is really playing out within our game now, is that players know where they are in relation to each other and where they're going to be.

"What we can now do is, a player can come across and if we're both running for the ball, what would happen in the real world is the defender would try to get better body position than you, to get between you and the ball. That can now happen in the game because players know where they are in relation to one another.

"It allows them to be much more natural in how they interact. And there's no way we could do those kinds of complex calculations and maintain 60 frames a second on current generation consoles."

EA absolutely hasn't hobbled the next generation version so that there's less of a discrepancy with the Xbox 360 version, Channon urged - each version is the work of a separate team, tasked with making the best possible game. That said, future FIFA outings will probably get much more out of the new hardware.

"I don't think that we would ever constrain ourselves if the machine didn't constrain us. We would always be trying to innovate based on the power that we have. Now clearly running over 60 on the current generation of consoles, there's a limit now to what we can do.

"Those shackles, if you like, are being released on the new consoles, and we're very proud of the innovations we've made on 14 and we'll continue to do that on 15, 16 and beyond. We wouldn't restrict ourselves for any reason."

Would you play a FIFA game at anything less than 60 frames a second? And what did you think of yesterday's FIFA 14 demo?