The world is waking up from the slumber of 2020, and fight fans are in for a real treat this coming year.
UFC 261 is set to take place in front of a full crowd according to Bloody Elbow, with Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal topping the bill in Jacksonville. In boxing, the heavyweight division is poised to get the first unified champion in 20 years when Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua squaring off later in the year. That alone should be enough to prompt genuine excitement, but fans of both sports may feel they want to prepare in the best possible way – through video games.
UFC 4 from EA Sports dropped in August on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and it offered those quick enough to buy a copy a chance to fight as all the big names in the world of combat. Not only can you recreate the Masvidal and Usman bout, but Fury and Joshua were also playable characters, allowing them to face off in the Octagon in a special event. Of course, as a Bwin MMA graphic demonstrates, there is no bigger name in the UFC than Conor McGregor and UFC 4 allows you to pit The Notorious against Nate Diaz and Khabib Nurmagomedov, should you so desire. They are two anticipated bouts the world wants to see in 2021, but why wait when you can emulate them on your PlayStation?
You can even play the game on your PlayStation 5 with backwards compatibility, but fans have been eager to hear of a dedicated PlayStation 5 release in the New Year. The next generation of consoles are landing around the world, despite supply problems still dogging many gamers, but as yet, there is not a fighting game released purely for the new consoles.
The good news is that you can play the game on your PlayStation 5, as many fans will already know, but there are no plans to develop a standalone title. What does that mean for the casual player? You can still enjoy your UFC fix on your new console, but you will not get anything developed solely for your new machine.
As you can see from the video above, the game runs at around 60 fps on the PlayStation 5 and it does look great, even if it is essentially the same game PlayStation 4 owners are also enjoying. Many developers have chosen to go down the route of simple backwards compatibility with their titles, rather than a brand new game. It does make commercial sense, even if players are frustrated. Why spend lots of money reworking a title that already runs on the new machines, when those funds could be allocated to the next project, such as UFC 5? EA Sports have released a UFC game every two years, with UFC 1 dropping in 2014 and of course, UFC 4 in 2020.
That means that PlayStation 5 owners, and Xbox Series X owners of course, will likely have to wait until the summer of 2022 for a titled dedicated to their machines. In the meantime, UFC 4 will have to quench their thirst, until those big fights start happening for real and the action is taken out of your hands and entrusted to the fighters of both the UFC and heavyweight boxing.