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Why it matters: Many players have been disappointed as the PC version of FIFA has lagged behind its console counterparts technologically for two years. That deficit ends with FIFA 23, but the PC market faces unique technical and market challenges for sports games.
On Wednesday, Electronic Arts opened pre-orders for FIFA 23, revealing that the PC edition this year is based on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series versions and includes cross-play with those versions. FIFA 22 and FIFA 21 on PC were "Legacy Editions" ported from PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, giving PC players an inferior experience to the PS5 and Series X versions.
The upgrade means FIFA 23 will introduce EA's HyperMotion to PC, which mainly translates to improved animations. Players can also expect the dramatic graphics enhancements console users received when transitioning to the new generation in 2020.
EA held back FIFA's tech on PC to keep the minimum system requirements down due to its large and diverse audience. Popular sports simulators like FIFA tend to support older consoles for a long time - the last PlayStation 3 FIFA was FIFA 19 - because of their vast user base. Likewise, a potentially large portion of PC users plays FIFA on relatively mature hardware.
Comparing the Steam pages for FIFA 22 and FIFA 23 shows the new game indeed has dramatically raised its system specs. Where last year's title only required an Nvidia GTX 660 or AMD Radeon HD 7850, FIFA 23 asks for a GTX 1050Ti or Radeon RX 570. It also requires DirectX 12 and 100 GB of storage space. If EA's internal data indicates a significant number of players can't meet those requirements, why not let them optionally install Legacy Edition for a few more years?
FIFA 23 will also introduce women's club football and the Women's World Cup to the franchise. However, due to disagreements between EA and the FIFA organization, this will be the last entry to feature the FIFA name and the World Cup. Next year EA will rename the series "EA Sports FC."
FIFA 23 launches on October 1.