Cricket is huge in India, so it makes sense for Sony to direct its marketing efforts for the PlayStation 5 to mainstream fans of the sport. The new PS5 Cricket 24 bundle aims to do exactly that and it looks like it’s poised for success. In a busy month for video games with juggernauts such as Assassin’s Creed Mirage, Alan Wake 2, and Sony’s own Spider-Man 2, PlayStation India has made an interesting choice by pushing Cricket 24 hard.
PS5 Cricket 24 Bundle - Launch Price, Pre-Order Dates and Bonuses
The new bundle launches for pre-orders across all retailers in the country at an MRP of Rs. 57,990. However, here’s the catch - you can get the bundle for an introductory offer price of Rs. 47,990 for a limited period (the outgoing date for the deal, given stocks last, is November 4).
The bundle includes a disk edition of the console, one Dualsense controller, one digital voucher for Cricket 24: Indian Edition and “printed materials” that will “guide users through their gaming journey” - whether that means an official manual for the game remains to be seen.
While fans of physical media may be disappointed at the inclusion of a digital voucher for the game, it’s a welcome move to see disk edition of the console being pushed at retail for the bundle. India is very much a disk-loving market, and
How does the bundle compare with recent offerings from Sony? Well, currently you can get your hands on the PS5 EA FC24 bundle for Rs. 48,190 across retailers. Demand for the football franchise (okay, “soccer” for my lovely American readers) has been, unsurprisingly, low this year with pre-orders estimates roughly 70% lower than usual. This gives Sony an interesting opportunity to push for the new bundle catering to a hardcore fanbase.
Cricket 24: Indian Edition - What’s New?
The new bundle was announced during a preview event for the press in Delhi, where I got to play a hefty chunk of the game. Now, the last time I really sank my teeth into a Cricket game was with the classic Cricket ’07, and I’m not exactly known for my interest in the sport. The following are very much my unfiltered first impressions of a game that already has a massive, passionate fanbase both online and offline.
But first, what’s in a name? The “Indian Edition” of Cricket 24, from what we could tell at the preview event, has everything to do with the licensing and marketing of the IPL teams. There are no inherent gameplay features or modes that are exclusive to the desi variant of the game. Either way, it’s a little disappointing to see that developer Big Ant Studios’ inclusion of IPL teams seems hasty. Sure, you’ll find familiar names of players you love when you’re playing with the Indian T20 League, but then those are absent when you go to play international matches in the regular game modes. IPL teams present in the game are - Kolkata Knight Riders, Delhi Capitals, Mumbai Indians, Sunrises Hyderabad, Rajasthan Royals, Gujarat Titans and Lucknow Supergiants.
As for PSL, since so many have asked over on Twitter, yes it’s licensed. The game will of course get regular patches and updates, with the Narendra Modi stadium making its way into the game after launch week. Other bugs we noticed during our session have already been acknowledged by Big Ant Studios, such as the absence of photogrammetry scans for PSL players in the launch build.
Seeing lots of questions about PSL so here you go- https://t.co/1gxSwHKLSE— Rahul Majumdar (@darthrahul) October 4, 2023
What’s the gameplay like? From what I could tell it’s not a significantly different experience compared to Cricket 22. I’m surprised the DualSense controller’s signature features aren’t used well by the game, but it makes sense since most of the directives to players on the field are given with face buttons instead of relying on the triggers. The game’s aftertouch system for batting and bowling could’ve used some haptic action but I don’t think the intended audience is going to care so much about it. It needs to be noted though that the version I played at the preview event was a significantly older build (v 0.2.1208). Another thing to note is the absence of any additional performance mode on the PS5. The lack of direct gameplay capture from the last-gen version was hard to find at launch, so it remains to be seen what clear advantages beyond a higher resolution the PS5 version provides.
Cricket 24 is out now for PC, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch and Xbox consoles. The game retails for Rs. 4,299 on consoles and Rs. 2,999 on Steam for PC.