One of my favourite things about being a football fan is that the game isn't the only thing you hear about any more. The demands of a seemingly insatiable 24 hour news media has meant that journalists get the chance to tell stories that go beyond the sport itself.
UPDATE 03/04/2017 5.28pm: Konami has issued the following somewhat confusing statement regarding the Diego Maradona lawsuit to Kotaku:
Konami is the not the Konami of old. The Japanese company has ditched Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima and big-budget console video game development in general in favour of mobile games, casino machines and... gyms.
Konami has announced a permanent Trial Edition of PES 2017.
When FIFA 17 came out, Liverpool fans moaned (shock horror, I know) about the lack of Anfield's new stand in-game.
What is it about football games? While fans of other genres can expect not just consistent output but steady improvement from their favourite series, those of us to whom pressing X means pass rather than jump have long known it's best to approach our major releases with trepidation. One year the game might feel too slow, the next too fast. One year it's too easy to score, another too hard. In what other iterative releases are the core mechanics in such a state of constant flux?
(I have a theory about the most talented developers not being interested in sports - but we'll save that for another time.)
Take last year's PES, for example. While the game was universally well-received, its flaws - such as lenient referees and dodgy 'keepers - hadn't been apparent in its predecessors. If key parts of the game work less well in 2016 than they did in 2010, what faith can we have that the series is really getting any better?
If you, like me, played PES back in the day, you'll remember with fondness the silly names for clubs Konami came up with because it didn't have official licenses.
A PES 2017 demo comes out on 24th August 2016 in Europe on PlayStation 4, PS3, Xbox One and Xbox 360. There's no demo for PC.
As a die hard Chelsea fan I could not be more delighted to report that PES 2017 has partnered with Liverpool.
The media room deep inside the west stand of the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona has hosted all manner of announcements and unveilings over the course of the famous stadium's 59-year history but not many, you suspect, quite like this.
The first surprise, perhaps, is that Konami is still actively making big budget console titles. Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 isn't a new Pachinko machine - it's a proper, bona fide video game. It's a very good one, too, as you might have expected if you've been paying attention to PES's return to grace in recent years, topped off in in 2016 with arguably the most exquisite PES yet, even if it it was let down slightly by its stunted roster updates that saw it lag behind its competition even as it trumped it in most other areas.
Konami's announced PES 2017, due out this autumn, alongside a few screenshots.