Electronics Arts touts new motion capture tech in upcoming FIFA game

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NEW DELHI :

Video game giant EA Sports’ newest version of its popular football game FIFA will use machine learning (ML) technology to enhance the overall gameplay experience. The company has announced ‘HyperMotion technology’ to make FIFA 22 more “immersive” and “realistic”.

The company said it used “advanced 11v11 match capture” and proprietary ML algorithms to enhance the game’s graphics. The technology includes the integration of the “first-ever motion capture” of 22 professional footballers playing at high intensity. EA says it combined this motion capture data with 8.7 million frames of advanced match capture to create the animations in its upcoming game. The technology obviously requires additional computing power, which is perhaps why EA is limiting it to next-gen consoles like the Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5 and Google’s cloud gaming platform, Stadia.

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The game will be available on older consoles too, but without the HyperMotion features. It launches worldwide on 1 October. A version of the game will also be available on the handheld console, Nintendo Switch.

It’s unclear just how much of a difference the technology will make. The company’s launch trailer shows fleeting shots of how it created the technology, but it is anything but descriptive. In fact, while the technology seems to create realistic representations of how players move during a game, while taking a header and so on, EA’s trailer shows close-ups of virtual players, dynamic camera angles etc, which are never actually used by FIFA players.

FIFA games haven’t changed much in the last few years, which suggests a sort of saturation in what the company can do with these games. It has added new game modes, like VOLTA, a new street football game that debuted with FIFA 2020, two years ago, but that’s about all that’s truly new.

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