We’re a little over a month away from the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X going on sale, but 2K Sports is giving us a peek at what next-gen basketball will really look like. In a follow-up to its sweaty Zion Williamson preview from this summer, a new two-minute trailer flies around some game action to show how players are rendered in more detail than ever, as well the game’s improved animation systems and physics.
One detail that stands out in our current era is that this is the only way you’ll see basketball played in crowded stadiums. According to 2K, the arena contains “more than 150 unique AI-driven characters interacting seamlessly” in the lower bowl alone. A shot following Luka Doncic as he walks onto the court shows spectators with as much detail and liveliness as we’re used to seeing in the game’s athletes. The game also includes a Rail Cam angle mimicking what we’ve seen from action in the “bubble” restart that pulls you in closer to the court than ever before.
What we don’t know about yet is how the gameplay will change, but more information on that will come in the form of “three Courtside Reports that cover core gameplay, new movement and the "Impact Engine," as well as next-gen AI and major changes to the MyPLAYER Builder.” In the following weeks the drip feed should reveal info about WNBA, MyCareer and improvements to the Neighborhood mode.
NBA 2K21 will be available at launch on the new consoles: November 10th for Xbox Series X and Series S, and November 12th for PS5 in the regions where it’s available. Also, like some other games it’s more expensive on the new consoles, with a $70 starting price, or $100 if you bought the Mamba Edition that included access across new and old systems.
Visual Concepts president Greg Thomas said in a statement “Never before have we been able to deliver this level of visual fidelity and realism in a video game, NBA 2K21 is the standout title that best delivers the promise of next-gen: truly revolutionary graphics, lighting-fast load times and incredible new features and gameplay only possible on next generation hardware.”