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What EA Sports' new Ignite engine means for a game like FIFA 14

3D crowds that boo? Players that hurry when they're losing?

EA Sports' next-gen engine is called Ignite. It's not magic but the extra grunt of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One means Ignite can do new things.

Those new things manifest in crowds no longer looking like cardboard cut-outs that are hilariously rubbish under close inspection.

"For the first time ever," EA boasted following the announcement of Xbox One, "3D crowds and dynamic sidelines will impact the experience, and rich sports atmospheres will change organically based on the progress of a match.

"Player actions will change depending on the situation, and crowds will have an expectation of how a game is likely to play out, and react accordingly."

Does that mean they'll boo if you don't live up to expectations? Maybe you can kung fu kick them if they say something mean.

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Ignite AI handles - because of the hardware it's on - four-times more calculations each second than in previous EA Sports games. With more thoughts in their heads they can react with "awareness, anticipation and context" to what you're doing. They have a greater field of vision as well, apparently.

Players will also react to the story of the match itself.

"In FIFA 14, for example, [an AI] player's sense of urgency increases as the match draws on and a goal is needed, rushing to take a free kick, corner or goal-kick if time is running down," said EA.

Animation depth and detail will improve ten-fold with Ignite, and there are new locomotion systems tied into this that make players turn and change speeds and generally move more believably.

"And on Xbox Live," added EA, there will be "a daily stream of new content that impacts the game as you play".

The Ignite-powered PS4 and Xbox One versions of FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, NBA Live 14 and UFC will launch within the next 12 months, and after the PS3 and 360 and current-gen versions appear.

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