Pro Evolution Soccer 2013, known as 'Winning Eleven' in North America and Japan, will be a "new beginning" for the fledging football franchise, which has fallen behind Electronic Arts' FIFA franchise in both quality and commercial success.
The game, which is set to launch a week before FIFA 13 on September 21, is on its way to becoming to best the genre has to offer, according to Konami PR and marketing man, Brian Ayres.
"This is the year where press is openly talking about PES beind back to its best," he said.
Mr Ayres says there's "a very strong buzz" about the game, with press coverage being mostly positive ahead of launch.
"This is feeding through to retail that PES is a true title contender, so we are confident this is a new beginning for the series."
He believes PES 2012 "is going to be in it for the long-haul", with sales expected to rise with positive word-of-mouth passed on by gamers.
In our hands-on preview last month, we said the game "truly feels like a game for the hardcore crowd".
By Gaetano Prestia