EA has announced that FIFA 21 will be launched on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on 9 October 2020 and will be introduced at the end of the current console generation. Fortunately for those fans who are currently thinking more about the next generation of PS5 and Xbox Series X, FIFA 21 will be part of the new Dual Entitlement scheme of EA.
With Dual Entitlement, players who purchase FIFA 21 on PS4 or Xbox One will be able to upgrade to the corresponding version of the next generation for free. Basically, it sounds like the EA version of Xbox Smart Delivery. EA has not yet confirmed a release date for the PS5 and Xbox Series X versions of FIFA 21 news, 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.
In a FAQ, EA has described a number of rules regarding the upgrade that should be followed, but they seem to be quite simple. The most important one is that you can only upgrade from Xbox One to Xbox Series X or from PS4 to PS5: there are no crossover platforms here.
EA also notes that those who retrieve a physical copy of FIFA 21 on PS4 or Xbox One will have to insert the disk in their next-gen console to download the upgrade and play the game. So if you are retrieving a physical copy of FIFA 21 for PS4, you will need to choose PS5 with a disc drive.
If you plan to go diskless with your next-gen purchase, all you need to do is make sure you purchase FIFA 21 digitally in this generation because “physical discs cannot currently be used to upgrade to diskless consoles”.
After downloading your next-gen upgrade, you can still play on PS4 and Xbox One, but if EA’s promises of “lightning-fast loading times, delayed illumination and rendering, improved animation technology, off-ball humanization and more” pay off, you may not want to do that.
According to EA, any progress you make or content you buy in FIFA 21 Ultimate Team and any progress made in Volta will be transferred from the current to the next generation and back again. However, any progress you make in modes such as Online Seasons, Co-Op Seasons, Career Mode and Pro Clubs is “specific to the console you’re playing on and will not be transferred between consoles”.
In terms of cross-play for FIFA in the next generation, EA has no exciting announcements to make, by writing “that our players can play against each other on whatever platform they play, it is a long-term goal of ours. At the moment we don’t have any news, but we continue to investigate its integration and will share any updates when we have them”.