The World Cup is coming up in a few months and there is a free FIFA 18 update as part of it. We will also see loads of new FIFA 19 information from EA as part of the World Cup and at EA Play, which takes place in June near E3. While you may see a special edition arrive in the summer, the 2018 FIFA release will be called FIFA 19. Even though it is early, we know a lot about what you can expect from the biggest soccer game available. This is what you can expect from the FIFA 19 release date and when you can play FIFA 19 for the first time.
We’ve seen a huge amount of interest in The Journey, FIFA’s story mode that came back for season 2 last year and there is a good chance we will see EA continue with story features this year. FIFA gained 10% more new players with FIFA 18 and FIFA Ultimate Team grew 12% compared to the previous year. Expect to see EA push hard to deliver improved experiences there, especially as they are able to sell packs to players to ramp up revenue.
FIFA 19 Release Date
The FIFA 19 release date is likely coming in September. There is no chance that EA pushes FIFA 19 up to time with the World Cup, but there is a special edition of FIFA 18 to coincide with that event.
Every year EA releases the new FIFA game at the end of September. This time slot is perfectly centered between Madden 19 and the slew of shooters and other big budget games that come out later in the year. In the last decade the FIFA release date only arrived outside of September once, and we don’t expect that will happen this year.
Expect a FIFA 19 release date on September 21 for a special edition that will allow you to play early. This will be a more expensive edition that comes with FIFA Ultimate Team bonuses. A full release for the FIFA 19 standard edition will arrive on September 25th, unless there is a massive shake up in how EA handles the release of games. The only time a FIFA release arrived outside of September in the last decade was in 2009, when it arrived on October 2nd. That’s a remote possibility this year, but we expect EA to stick with September.
Count on EA Access to get a Play First Trial that allows gamers to play the full version of the game starting on September 17th, five days early. This is a part of a $5 a month or $30 a year membership that allows you to try EA games early and also includes full access to older EA games. There is no EA Access for PS4, so this will be on Xbox and Origin Access will be on the PC. There is a good chance that this will not include full access to any new The Journey story mode.
FIFA 19 Features & Graphics
EA delivered FIFA 18 as Xbox One X Enhanced and the game looked better on PS4 Pro as well. Count on Enhanced and upgraded graphics on the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro when you pick up FIFA 19 later this year. This means 4K gaming with HDR support on both PS4 Pro and the Xbox One X, and HDR support on the PS4 and Xbox One S.
FIFA 19 shares the game engine with Madden and Battlefield, so improvements to the engine overall help the graphical upgrades across all EA titles that share the Frostbite engine. This helps deliver bigger graphical jumps each year.
EA isn’t sharing much about new FIFA 19 features, but we do know a little about what is coming. In a call with investors transcribed by Seeking Alpha, EA CEO Andrew Wilson said, “It’s a World Cup year, and with the largest sporting event on the planet set to reach billions of soccer fans, our EA SPORTS development teams are packing excitement into our next FIFA. Madden NFL, NHL, and NBA LIVE will all bring new dimensions of gameplay, self-expression and social connection.”
The story mode brought new players to FIFA Ultimate Team last year, and Ultimate Team is a money maker, so you can count on upgrades to both of these modes for FIFA 19. EA brought players back again and again in FIFA 18 with more events so expect to see that continue in 2018.
We’ll learn more about FIFA 19 in May, and we will see FIFA 19 in action in June near E3. EA announced EA Play 2018, where gamers can play FIFA 19 early and check out the new features on their own.
Play FIFA 19 Early
You can pre-register for EA Play where you can play FIFA 19 early if you are selected to attend. This event takes place June 9-11th in Hollywood, California. You should register now, and then you will find out if you make the cut very soon.
FIFA 19 Cover
EA doesn’t do cover votes for FIFA games anymore. Instead they will hand pick the FIFA 19 cover star and announce this in June. Last year Ronaldo was on the cover of FIFA and this year you can expect another star to grace the cover.
EA will likely announce this right ahead of EA Play in June. We could see Neymar or Kane on the cover of FIFA 19. Giving the proximity to the 2018 World Cup kickoff expect to see a lot of fanfare around this announcement.
FIFA 19 Editions
Count on two FIFA 19 editions this year. EA shifted to a two-tier approach over the last several years and it’s been working well. You should be able to buy a traditional FIFA 19 standard edition for $59.99 that arrives on a Tuesday in late September. There will also be a special edition of FIFA 19 for $79.99 that includes Ultimate Team bonuses and that arrives on the Friday before the standard edition. This has been how EA handles the launch for several years and with the continued push to Ultimate Team it makes sense.
We may see a special digital only FIFA 19 edition that is jam packed with extra Ultimate Team goodies this year, but that’s something we won’t learn about until June at the earliest.
FIFA 19 Demo
While EA has been stingy with Madden demos, they never stopped offering a FIFA demo. We expect to see the company stick with tradition and offer up a limited FIFA 19 demo for PS4, Xbox One and PC in early September. This free FIFA 19 demo will allow you to play with a few teams as you test the new FIFA 19 features and it may even include a sneak peak at a new story mode.
Last year the demo arrived on September 12th, and it would make sense to see the FIFA 19 demo release date on September 11, 2018 this year.
FIFA 19 Consoles & Systems
Expect to see FIFA 19 on a wide range of consoles and on PC this year. We always see FIFA games arrive on PlayStation, Xbox and PC, and that won’t change this year.
Count on playing FIFA 19 on PS4, PS4 Pro, Xbox One, Xbox One S and the Xbox One X as well as on PC. There is no chance that you will be able to play the full version of FIFA 19 on the Xbox 360 or PS3, so if you are still holding on to one of those consoles it is time to upgrade. We saw FIFA 18 Legacy Edition on PS3 and Xbox 360 last year, but you miss out on the newest features. The Legacy Edition of FIFA 18 was essentially FIFA 17 with a new menu and new team rosters. It’s unclear if EA plans to offer a Legacy edition this year or if they will focus on the newer systems.
We saw FIFA 18 on the Nintendo Switch last year, and there is a good chance that FIFA 19 for the Switch will arrive again this year. The game didn’t feature Frostbite and lacked features found on the PS4 and Xbox One. While reviews found that it was the best portable version of FIFA yet, it lagged behind. Hopefully EA sticks with it and upgrades the experience for 2018.