A second beta was also discovered, but for the PS5. It’s code named ACKEE beta and is around 38GB. If true, this would be the first game in the EA Sports NHL series to release on next-gen platforms. Although NHL 21 was playable on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S, the game was specifically designed for last-gen consoles. The first, spotted by PlayStation Game Size, was for the PS4 beta. It’s code named Water Buffalo and is expected to be around 28GB.
If similar to FIFA 22 and Madden NFL 22, this would indicate that the next-gen version of NHL 22 will come with exclusive features that are only available on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S. Some speculate that Madden 22’s Dynamic Gameday could be applied to NHL 22, improving the overall arena atmosphere.
Last year, EA revealed NHL 21 in August so we’re a little bit ahead of schedule. But with the new game likely releasing in October, EA could use its showcase to spotlight the game. EA Play Live 2021 is scheduled for Thursday, July 22, 2021. In Madden, Dynamic Gameday on next-gen offers things like Gameday Momentum, Home Field Advantage and Star-Driven AI. I see no reason why this also couldn’t be implemented in NHL 22. Additionally, NHL 22 could benefit from improved motion capture, animations and physics — something we’re seeing EA apply to its FIFA franchise with HyperMotion.
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