Madden 21 PS5 And Xbox Series X Upgrades Detailed, And They Sound Impressive

EA is introducing a series of upgrades for Madden 21 on the next-generation consoles.


EA Sports has shared new details on the many upgrades coming to Madden NFL 21 on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, and they sound impressive and extensive.

A new blog post focuses on the various upgrades for the presentation package, and one of these is better-looking environments thanks to a new deferred lighting system.

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"Everything looks more realistic with the newly crafted next gen lighting model. Players have never looked better and shine even at more challenging scenarios like nighttime, non-clear weather types, and dome stadiums," EA said. "Pyro VFX casts dynamic shadows which dramatically improve the fidelity on player runout tunnels. Deferred lighting allows for more lighting sources in our NFL environments creating beautifully lit details."

There will also be "contextual" reactions from players on the field and on the bench, along with crowds depending on what happens on the field. The PS5 and Xbox Series X editions of Madden 21 also feature new pre-game cinematics, while the teammates on the bench will no longer just stand there, but they will react more realistically.

Here is a rundown of some of those improvements specifically:

  • Players on the sidelines have player likeness, name, body type, and skin type
  • Players will jump out of the way of a ball out of bounds or move out of the way when a player runs or is pushed out of bounds. Sideline characters are set up to watch and react to the play.
  • Improved head-tracking and unique interactions for all characters in the player box without twinning

The upgrades also extend to how players look. Every player model in Madden 21 for PS5 and Xbox Series X is "brand-new," EA said, and designed to accurately represent them in real life.

"The number of vertices and texture resolutions have nearly doubled and have been authored to fully utilize the graphics processor of the next gen consoles," EA said. "Along with the outer appearance of the player bodies, the next gen consoles have also opened up opportunities to upgrade our render skeleton to better demonstrate secondary body motions and real-life muscle deformations."

The level of depth and detail extends all the way to how a player's arms and legs muscles moves on the field depending on the action they are doing.

Location-based audio is also being added for Madden 21 on PS5 and Xbox Series X. "Utilizing crowd placement data that provides one-to-one fidelity of crowd members in the stands, we are able to accurately place cone outputs utilizing spatialization effects and precise orientation," EA said. This means you will hear the impact of spatialized sound FX, especially in the huddle and when the crowd roars."

The extra horsepower of the PS5 and Xbox Series X also allow Madden 21's various weather effects to appear more realistic. In heavy rain, water will pool on the sidelines, while snow will look more realistic. These new weather effects will affect how a player's jersey looks, depending on the environment.

"We can render 10-times more particles while keeping our game running at 60 FPS," EA said. "The real-time surface and material shaders have been upgraded to fully utilize the higher processing power of the CPU and GPU to represent surfaces that react to weather. See new rain and snow impacts specifically on helmets and jerseys where it affects the fabrics and sideline floors."

Madden 21's PS5 edition will use the DualSense controller's haptic feedback to make the game feel more lifelike. Examples that EA provided included how the controller will give you a warning through its rumbling when a linebacker is rushing you or the feeling of the ball landing in your hands after a big catch.

"Feedback can be delivered to each hand separately to let you feel what the players feel on the field," EA said. "With the use of adaptive triggers, users feel resistance on the trigger to give feedback on a player breaking a tackle or running low on stamina."

Finally, players will be able to leave the field and celebrate in the crowd at 13 of the NFL's 32 stadiums--you can see the full list here.

Madden NFL 21 launches for PS5 and Xbox Series X on December 4. Everyone who bought the game on PS4 or Xbox One can get a free upgrade on PS5 or Xbox Series X. Alternatively, EA will offer a standalone version of Madden 21 for PS5 and Xbox Series X for $70 USD, which represents EA's first next-gen game with the $10 price increase.

Madden 21 will be discounted on Black Friday, but you don't have to wait until then, as numerous retailers are already offering the title for under $30.

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