We’ve finally had our first look at NBA 2K21 on PS5 and Xbox Series X. A first-look trailer has shown off the visual and environmental improvements introduced for the next-gen version, including updated player models and various new court details. The trailer, captured on a PS5, shows of both of these improvements before and during a game.
Prior to this we’d seen just a tiny snippet of the PS5 version; this is much more extensive, offering some gameplay segments in a game between the Dallas Mavericks and Golden State Warriors. One of the standout elements, aside from the impressive lifelike look of the individual players, is how crowded the court and crowd appear, particularly during the pregame segment.
In the next-gen version, every single person on screen in the lower court will have their own AI routines, including the audience. In the footage, the movements of everyone in the arena–not just the players–looks extremely natural.
Improved lighting models, animations, and physics will also make for a more realistic basketball experience. 2K and developer Visual Concepts is promising a rebuilt player movement system, with new on-court animation and collision engines, as well as a greatly expanded soundtrack featuring 202 tracks.
This trailer is the first of several drops of information about the next-gen version of NBA 2K21 in the lead-up to release, 2K has promised, so more information about the different modes in this version will be available soon.
NBA 2K21 will be available on PS5 and Xbox Series X at launch. However, it won’t be a free update for owners of the PS4 and Xbox One version by default–only if they bought they more expensive Mamba Forever edition. The base game costs $70 on next-gen systems. Take-Two’s CEO has defended the price
NBA 2K21’s next-generation edition for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X now has a release date. 2K Sports has confirmed that the next-gen edition will begin its rollout on November 10 as a launch title for the Xbox Series X and S consoles.
The professional basketball game will then arrive for the PS5 as a launch title on November 12 in the console’s launch markets, including the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and South Korea. The game will then arrive in other markets around the world on November 19 when the console is released in those places.
NBA 2K21’s next-gen version is a new edition of the game “built from the ground up” for those consoles. Because of that, there is no cross-gen multiplayer support. The game costs $10 more on PS5 and Xbox Series X, and Take-Two’s CEO has defended the price increase.
2K has only provided the briefest of snippets of NBA 2K21 for PS5, but what we saw was extremely impressive and the load times were basically non-existent. 2K has yet to provide a full rundown of what the next-gen edition of NBA 2K21 is all about, however.
NBA 2K21’s PS4 and Xbox One edition, which launched in early September, will be playable on PS5 and Xbox Series X through backwards compatibility. This will not, however, come with the upgrades of the new consoles. There also isn’t an easy way to pay for these upgrades. People who want to upgrade from the current-gen edition to next-gen must buy the $100 Mamba Forever edition.
GameSpot’s review of NBA 2K21 for PS4/Xbox One scored the game a 6/10. “NBA 2K21 shows that the lone basketball sim we have now has largely stagnated. It’s a full package, for sure, but one that demonstrates little-to-no motivation to meaningfully improve
NBA 2K21 will be a launch title for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and S. On Tuesday, 2K tweeted the confirmed dates for release on its next-gen version that coincides with the launch day for the new consoles.
Along with confirming November 10, 12 and 19th as the big days globally, 2K also slid in what is presumably the first real screen shot of the game.
This image of Zion Williamson yelling appears to be on par with the visual quality of some of the celebrity recreations we’ve seen on next-gen hardware.
The release of the date and the screenshot suggests the first trailer should be coming pretty soon. The latest patch that impacted current-gen might be the last major update before the next-gen release.
It tackled most of the first versions most pressing issues, though there are still members of the community that are dissatisfied. At some point, there needs to be a transition to offer the proper support to the next-gen launch.
2K devs are likely working feverishly to prepare the next-gen version for its debut, and hoping to head off any potential game-breaking issues that could hurt gamers’ experience on their first day with their brand-new system.
It will be interesting to see if Madden and FIFA are also launch titles for both the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, because it will make for a monumental week in sports video gaming.