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EA details next-gen updates for 'Star Wars Squadrons,' 'FIFA 21' and more

Igor Bonifacic
·Contributing Writer
·3-min read

With both Microsoft and Sony mere weeks away from the release of their respective next-gen consoles, EA has detailed how its most popular current-generation titles will play on the Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5 (via The Verge). Depending on the title, you can mostly expect better loading times and more consistent framerates, either through backward compatibility or a free next-gen upgrade.

Among its current crop of games, the Xbox Series X/S version of Star Wars: Squadrons will get the most significant next-gen upgrade. You’ll have a choice between two quality presents: one that prioritizes better visuals and another that’s more focused on performance. In the former mode, the Xbox Series X will render the game at a dynamic 4K and 60 frames per second, while the Series S will aim for 1440p at 60 frames per second. The game will also feature better lighting effects in this mode. In performance mode, both the Xbox Series X and Series S will render the game at 120 frames per second while trying to stay at 4K and 1440p respectively. Provided you own a compatible TV, the Xbox Series X/S version of Star Wars: Squadrons will also include support for variable refresh rates (VRR), which should help smooth out any frame rate fluctuations.

The PS5 updates EA has planned for Star Wars: Squadrons are more modest. The PS5 will target the same resolution and frame rate as the PlayStation 4 Pro version currently does. EA hasn’t mentioned VRR or 120FPS support for PS5.

The situation for EA’s current lineup of sports titles is on the more complicated side. On December 4th, EA will release the next-gen versions of Madden NFL 21 and FIFA 21. If you already own those on a current-generation console, you’ll get a free upgrade once they become available. In the meantime, you’ll be able to play Madden NFL 21 and FIFA 21, as well as NHL 21 and UFC 4, through backward compatibility. On the Series X, you’ll get the same experience as you would on an Xbox One X. The Series S experience, meanwhile, will be comparable to playing the game on an Xbox One S, while the PS5 will run the game as if it were a PS4. In all three instances, the game will benefit from faster loading times.

EA’s battle royale Apex Legends will get “more formal enhancements” sometime next year. In the meantime, the company says you can “expect a performance boost up to 1440p.” As The Verge notes, the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro versions of Apex already target 1440p. So in practice what this upgrade means is that you’ll see the game dip to 1080p less frequently. Nothing too exciting, but appreciated nonetheless.

Sims fans can look forward to playing The Sims 4 and all of its many expansion packs on next-gen consoles with “faster loading times and smoother framerates.” Last but not least, there’s Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered, which you’ll be able to play on the Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5 through backward compatibility. The same scheme that applies to EA Sports titles applies here. You’ll get an Xbox One X-like experience on Xbox Series X, Xbox One S-like experience on Xbox Series S and PlayStation 4 Pro-like experience on PS5.