Pro Evo 2008 unveiled

With new "Teamvision" AI.

Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 is the name of this year's instalment in Konami's chart-topping football series.

The game's due out on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC-DVD, PS2, PSP and DS in the autumn, the publisher has said.

This year the focus is firmly on bolstering the series' next-gen credentials - with a new AI system called "Teamvision" spearheading that offensive.

Teamvision will enable opposing teams to learn and adapt to your tactics, rather than simply reacting in canned fashion. It's the ultimate riposte to players who work to expose weaknesses in the game's defending.

"With the new Teamvision AI system, we truly believe that we have elevated the game to a new level," says producer Shingo Takatsuka.

"The movement of players off the ball, coupled with the total control given to the player, creates the closest simulation of real football to date. We really hope everyone enjoys our evolution. I promise it will be worth the wait."

There's no mention of a "McClaren option" (you know, turning off adaptability), but Konami says the opposition's rate of response to your behaviour will depend on the players' quality.

That obviously ties in with the game's existing strengths - particularly the manner in which certain players are able to motivate their team-mates to respond in certain ways, holding a strong defensive line or sprinting forward when they gain possession.

Other changes hinted at include improved close control, while set-piece control will allow you to select the number of players in the defensive wall and their position. Expect more options on the offensive side there too.

And of course the game will make significant gains graphically as Konami strengthens its grip on the next generation of console formats. Advanced facial animations, shirt-pulling, sweat marks and perhaps Vaporub (who knows?) will be apparent.

Elsewhere, next-generation versions will get a proper Edit mode to make up for last year's disappointingly under-specced Xbox 360 release.

You can check out the first PES 2008 screenshots in our Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 gallery. (Where else would we keep them?)

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