In search of PES2010

I interrupt my usual Master League-related schedule to talk about an intriguing development out there in PESland. It’s only mid-January 2009, but more and more people are reaching this site after Googling ‘PES2010’. The blog stats tell me so. I started noticing it about a week before Christmas. And now ‘PES2010’ is the #1 search term leading people to these pages.

PES Chronicles currently doesn’t even appear in the first few pages of search results for ‘PES2010’—I’ve barely mentioned it. Which means people must be hunting long and hard for PES2010-related news. Now. In mid-January.

There was a time when thoughts of the next PES didn’t seriously begin until late spring at the earliest. It’ll be May or June before we see the first substantive PES2010 news appear—probably in the form of an uninspiring screenshot that the Internet will gnash its teeth over. But people are hungry for PES2010 now.

I find this trend interesting and disturbing on a number of levels. It’s a reminder that time seems to pass at an increasing rate of knots as I get older. And it also shows that there must be a lot of PES fans out there who are not as keen on PES2009 as I  (mostly) still am. Otherwise, there’d be no reason for them to Google ‘PES2010’.

Things were easy last year. “PES2008 is teh suXXor” (or whatever) was the majority opinion, and I agreed with it. Boy did I agree with it. PES2009 is a better game. I think almost everyone would agree with that, with the main arguments centering upon how much better it is.

Some would say it’s not very much better at all, others that it’s a lot better. I’m inclined towards the ‘lot better’ camp, but have sympathy with the ‘not much better’ crew. Somehow I cannot shake the memory of all my anticipation, in 2006 or so, of what next-gen PES on the PlayStation3 was going to be like. It was going to be the most amazing, fantastic, stupendous football game ever.

PES2008 was a lesson in cold, hard reality. PES2008 was a disaster. PES2008 was our 9/11. And PES2009 is just… okay. It’s competent. It’s decent. It’s just so much less than PES should be. So I have a lot of sympathy with the phantom ‘PES2010’ Googlers. I know exactly where they’re coming from, because I’m there too. We still believe in the myth of next-gen Pro Evolution Soccer. We still believe that it’s really going to happen.

Will it be 3rd time lucky for the prodigal son of football gaming? It’s possible, I suppose.

Wouldn’t it be marvellous if Konami ‘did a FIFA08’ on PES this year? What if Seabass really did take the franchise to the next level that we all confidently expected it to reach? I’m talking about the same kind of qualitative leap that saw ISS on the PS1 eventually morph into PES3 on the PS2. Could it happen with PES2010? I’ve started to dream about it happening. It’s like 2006 all over again…


  1. Oh no not-Greg! You didn’t actually dream about it, did you? I want to be optimistic but in two years into current gen do you think they get it now? Is there something they were experimenting with which they are comfortable releasing now? I’d say it’s unlikely, although you are just talking about a Fifa 08 kind of step up and I must say that makes it more interesting. At any rate I will say that PES 2008 PS2 (which I’m glad you will be returning to soon) is a pretty decent game, but it’s a pretty decent game for the PS2. The old engine lacks in terms of physics and believability when compared to Fifa 09 current gen. Bar the Ibrahimovic glitch, Fifa 09 physics are nothing short of impressive. Not having even played it yet, I appreciate at what an advance level they seem to have taken them. And the amount of animations, I understand is almost mind boggling, which makes for a worthy successor to PES, which prided itself on good physics and a realistic depiction of the beautiful game. But you don’t play Fifa anymore, and I am in no measure to understand why, as I have not played either game on current gen. You responded that you were more a Master League fan than a PES fan, as far as that debate was concerned, and due to the emptiness of Fifa’s Manager Mode, you couldn’t see yourself having a rewarding experience for a prolonged period of time.

    I am in a position to understand your view as I am myself a fan of PES 2008 and the Master League; however, I am gonna digress a little here and talk about the difficulty of the game. I take some pride in my footballing and tactical skills and feel that I should be able to take that into PES, but I am thwarted and disappointed by unimpressive results against my brother (last result was a 2-2 draw), who to be fair spends a greater amount of time playing than I do, but it’s not like I am not trying hard enough to stop him and that he is scoring last gasp goals against me as I become complacent with my play. He is scoring wonder goals! But hey, I’m not going to start a tirade about it yet, just re-opening the debate. And by the way, can the same be said about Fifa 09, on Assisted controls. Every player is a Quaresma and can curl the ball with the outside of the boot with pace as if it were the most ordinary skill. Remember I haven’t played the game but is that feeling shared among some of you who own the game?

    not-Greg, Googling PES 2010 I found your site on page 6. PESChronicles is in my bookmarks. Why should anyone have to go that far in a Google search to find your great site? It’s the most candid and interesting site as far as any PES material is concerned. All right, I’ll talk to you later!

  2. steph_wheeler – no, I’m not literally dreaming about a true next-gen PES! Figuratively dreaming, is all—hoping, yearning for it. I don’t think it’ll happen either—it was pretty much confirmed that PES2010 will be more of the same in one of WENB’s old podcasts (before WENB went all strange on us).

    PES2008 on the PSP is the game I’ll be returning to for at least a short time, eventually. I doubt my PS2 copy will ever see the inside of my PS3 again now. I’ll play a few matches and post on the blog about how I find the ‘old school’ gameplay again after several months away from it.

    Re. FIFA09, I don’t want to say too much now, as my posts over the next week or two will go into some detail about my evolving relations with PES and FIFA. I think it’s inevitable that I will return to play FIFA09 a lot more, and soon. I think I’d have played FIFA09 all year (and never have given PES2009 that second chance) if it wasn’t for that truly shocking Manager Mode. I really am just a career mode player, and FIFA’s career mode appals me with its badness, so I’ve been pushed back to Master League and PES2009 by default.

    FIFA09 with Assisted settings is unfortunately a rather arcadey-feeling game, with the shooting and player skills rather souped-up as you describe. Thankfully the control settings can be adjusted – FIFA09 on semi-manual/manual settings is an exercise in fascination, really. (Shame about the bleedin’ Manager Mode….)

    Re. PES Chronicles itself and Google… the site ranks surprisingly highly for general PES-related searches. Some variants of “PES Master League” or whatever put me on the first page, even in #1. But as you found, for PES2010 searches I’m nowhere near the front page (at the moment) – which means people are really searching hard for PES2010-related news. Like I said, I think this is significant, and sadly all too revealing of how PES sits with its fanbase in the new generation.

  3. Great reply mate.

    not-Greg, is that what you draw from the early search? I would certainly not say that it’s excitement and anticipation for the new PES, but how does it follow that the disappointment of PES next gen leads to early news searches? Are you suggesting that gamers are fatigued of playing PES and are already looking forward to the next version and if they think it’s going to be worth their money? I’m sorry if all I have is more questions for you. Either way I hope it’s a good sign for the site. Now let’s be optimistic about that!

    See ya.

  4. steph_wheeler – as I say in (most of) the post I think it’s dissatisfaction with PES2009 (and before it PES2008) that’s behind a lot of the early searching for PES2010. There’s no way to know for sure without one of those searchers leaving a comment to confirm/deny it. My last paragraph in the post dealing with excitement and anticipation etc. is just my own fleeting wish that Seabass could indeed shock us all with the PES we wanted and expected two years ago. I think if it was going to happen we’d have heard rumours by now.

  5. It would suggest, for people to be going to great lengths to find PES 2010 related material, that only 3 months after its release, people are already needing a new PES dose, and finding 2009 inadequate!
    I also subscrive to the aforementioned theory that PES is a MUCH better game than 2008’s poor attempt, and its a fantastic game in its own right, but still NOT the shiny glittering next-gen polished PES we all hoped for!!

    Heres hoping, fingers, legs toes, arms etc crossed that Konami do indeed pull a FIFA 2008/2009 style leap out of the bag, although I somehow seriously doubt that!!

    IMO, for PES to move on and become the game it should be, it needs to include the following as core components:

    – 360 degree movement, including player and passing
    – Motion Captured Player Animations
    – Improved stadiums and crowd chants
    – Incorporate the Champions League, license permitting, into the Master League mode
    – More interactivity within Master League (Deal with unhappy players, board demands, poor performance etc)
    – Realistic Transfer’s including proper currency
    – No Major Bugs (freezes, framerate issues, wrong team celebrating a title etc)
    – Improved commentary

    I think they are core factors, i really dont care about Licenses, as the fun of PES is in the editing, or Online as i rarely play online, its all about the Master league or 2 player local games with mates for me.

    If Konami invested the interest in making PES the Next-Gen title it should be I think it would be unbeatable.
    Back in November I drooled over FIFA 09, Loved it, still do, then i bought Pro Evo 09, it paled inj comparison, game play, gfx, the lot, i considered swapping PES in fact but now, FIFA is gathering dust on my shelf, unplayed in months whereas PES gets hammered every nigfht, purely because of one factor – Master League!!

    We all know EA’s priority for FIFA 2010 will be to improve the Manager Mode so its sink or swim for Konami, get your finger out or lose your last saving grace, the Master League!!

  6. Paul – The only item I’d add to your list would be one concerning the core gameplay of PES on the next-gen consoles.

    I think it’s become clear over the past two years that PES is (and always was?) a bit of an arcadey football game, and the move to the next-gen consoles has only highlighted that fact.

    I’d like to see a much more rugged, difficult, even frustrating style of gameplay for PES2010.

    New-style FIFA gameplay (without the myriad annoyances of that franchise) married to a souped-up Master League would, I believe, go a long way to regaining PES’s foothold with the fanbase. PES2009 is a good game but it’s not good enough—the damage was done by a poor PES2008 and a good FIFA08/09. As it stands people are simply haemorrhaging away to FIFA.

    Konami and Seabass need PES2010 to be different from its predecessors. But everything we’ve heard so far indicates that it won’t be different and it’s such a bloody shame. We have watched – and will probably continue to watch – the greatest sports game franchise of the past decade turn to dust before our eyes. Scary stuff.

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