PES 2009 was, for many players, a major let down and the year that EA's FIFA was without question the best virtual football experience on the market. At gamescom last month we managed to fire off a few questions at Shingo "Seabass" Takatsuka, the man behind Konami's flagging franchise, to find out exactly what has been done to ensure PES challenges FIFA for the honours once again.
VideoGamer.com: Do you have any football philosophy you try to recreate in every PES game?
Seabass: Philosophy is a bit difficult actually. Up to PES 2009 I thought the best way to make the real simulation is to pile up single actions that are true to real football - getting those pieces together will make a genuine football simulation. That's what I thought up to 2009. However, we acknowledge that, especially the last two years, the users have been responding saying this is a bit too arcadey. So we have changed the idea and the direction of the game when we go to develop PES titles. This year, it's quite the opposite way to what we thought. We hope we realise totally real football, not just saying we are going to realise single particular moves or single particular actions.
VideoGamer.com: I understand you like to watch real football and try to implement what you see. Is there anything you have spotted from watching real football that you have implemented into PES 2010 that hasn't been in the game before?
Seabass: There are so many things we wanted to implement into the game that we couldn't. Although we have included some 300 modern motions and moves for PES 2010, that is not enough. That doesn't cover everything that I wanted. An example could be, in real football you will see the player trapping the ball at the heel. That is very difficult to implement in the game and we could not realise that so far. The defence system - in the game defence is just pressing the button. That is not the case with real football. Real football, we have to very carefully consider how the centre of gravity moves when a player is moving. That is not completely reproduced in the game. So there are so many things that we want but still cannot implement.
VideoGamer.com: Before the release of the next gen consoles the PS2 version of the game was the flagship version. Is the idea now for the PS3 version to be the flagship version, or are both considered the same by Konami?
Seabass: Actually it's a bit difficult to single out one platform as a flagship. We should say PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 are our main flagship titles.
VideoGamer.com: The PS3 version has suffered from framerate issues for the last two years. Will it be improved this year?
Seabass: Yes we have learned from the past actually. The framerate issue was actually an issue for us as well. So we have of course fixed the problem and we have improved from that point onward. We now think PS3 and Xbox 360 are almost equal. Well, coming into very detailed features there are differences, but that's not because of the game. It purely depends on the specification of the hardware. They are not the same, so there should be differences. In that sense there are differences.
VideoGamer.com: But the framerate will be fine on PS3?
VideoGamer.com: I'd love to know what your favourite football team is and who your favourite player is, and have you made them better in the game than they are in real life? Because you're the boss. And you can.
Seabass: My favourite team is Lazio and my favourite player is [Pasquale] Foggia. As you mentioned, if I wished I could improve the statistics, but I don't do anything unfair.
VideoGamer.com: Why is Lazio your favourite football team?
Seabass: In previous seasons they had a lot of stars, so I was watching and very much impressed. However, as time went on the team wasn't doing very well. But I was still impressed with the way the team was fighting and playing, so the team became my favourite.
In the game I used to play with Inter, however, the team has become very strong so I thought it might be unfair to use such a strong team, so I changed.
VideoGamer.com: In recent versions Adriano was very strong.
Seabass: [Laughs] On the pitch he's a very good player.
PES 2010 is scheduled for release for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC on October 22, with versions for PS2 and PSP to follow on November 5 and Wii on November 19.