Konami has finally announced the closely guarded release date of the latest entry into its long-running PES series; PES 2013 confirmed as launching on 21 September for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.

That gives PES 2013 one week’s grace before its chief rival FIFA 13 makes its own appearance on store shelves – and you can decide for yourself whether that’s a genius piece of market positioning, or the actions of a publisher desperate to ensure its wares aren’t swallowed in the maws of the FIFA leviathan prematurely.

The publisher is also offering a pre-order incentive in the form of a limited UEFA Champions League steelbook edition. which ‘celebrates Konami’s exclusive agreement to feature the UEFA Champions League in the PES series,’ and includes a special DLC code to redeem the Historic UEFA Champions League match balls used in the competition amongst other official elements.

We in the UK will also be able to pre-order a Manchester United, boasting the club’s livery on its cover – sure to go down well with fans of Liverpool, Man City, Arsenal, Chelsea… we’ll stop there.

Release dates for the planned PSP, PS2, 3DS and Wii versions will be announced shortly with no mention of the touted Wii U version made thus far.