The first details have started to trickle in on EA Sports' FIFA 09 from US mag reports.
"Considerable gameplay improvements" are promised for the 2009 instalment, the most significant of which sounds like "increased responsiveness" from passing, dribbling and the physical pushing and shoving that occurs in a game.
Apparently thanks to some excellent and refined animation work, FIFA 09 feels "much faster and more realistic" than previous iterations, and this has "a huge positive impact" on the quality of play.
According to US mag Gamepro, the ball-handler can adjust themselves from falling during a slide tackle "if their non weight-bearing leg is tackled", and goalkeepers can reach behind their bodies if they misjudge a shot on goal.
Team Captains may also cry like babies when a crucial cup penalty is royally scuffed - It all sounds so much more realistic.
As expected, the Be A Pro mode from the last game is in, allowing players to create their own player and gain experience by playing through a series of seasons.
There's more customisation in the ability to mod and create your own specific offensive and defensive play sets, by choosing between a variety of aggression levels and risk-taking. We'll have to wait and see how that one turns out.
Initial impressions of FIFA 09 are all very positive. We're getting the feeling that the relentless PES and FIFA slagging match is about to start all over again...