NBA 2K21 Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 preview and more

Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

As live sports begin to roll out behind closed doors, major sports franchises are hitting gaming shelves, too. One of the most popular sports games on the market is NBA 2K21. Its release is a big deal for any fan.

Let’s get the basics out of the way first.

Release Date: September 4, 2020

Platforms: NBA 2K21 is coming to Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, Google Stadia, Android, and iOS. It’s also available on the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 this year.

Now available, just in time for holiday season.

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Latest NBA 2K21 News

Next-gen features and changes

As one of a few release-day titles available for both the Xbox Series X and the Playstation 5, NBA 2K21 has gained a lot of attention. The basketball game is on its 22nd version for the 2K gaming franchise.

Earlier, we mentioned how NBA 2K21 appeared to be headed for big changes heading into the next-generation of consoles. Now that the game is out, we can highlight some of those changes in further detail.

Specifically, we want to highlight what you can look forward to when playing the game on the next generation of consoles, with the freshly released Xbox Series X/S and the Playstation 5.

How is it any different than NBA 2K21 on PS4 or Xbox One?

While the gameplay trailer is impressive, sometimes it is tough to pull anything from videos put out by the game designer. The truth is, there are several changes each time a console receives an upgrade to the next generation, graphics being the biggest one that sticks out to most gamers. Of course, updated NBA 2K21 ratings and rosters along with improved graphics never hurt either.

For NBA 2K21 in particular, the dribbling mechanics have been completely revamped for the new systems. With this, player speeds are more accurate to their real-life counterparts.

In the past, the Pro Stick has just been used primarily for shooting. In NBA 2K21 it has been completely revamped. The Pro Stick now includes dribbling and ball-handling moves as well, on top of the shooting precision it previously offered.

With the Pro Stick now involving ball control as well, your player will act more naturally when dribbling. This leads to fewer missteps and mistakes when trying to shoot just beyond the 3-point line for example, instead of taking off from just inside the perimeter.

One thing that seems like it could make a big impact when behind the sticks is the updated player-size detection logic. This helps the uniqueness of each player feel like one-of-a-kind. 

Shaquille O’Neal moves as he should, Anthony Davis has a bit more athleticism and in the game, it shows. You will notice a larger difference when playing with a guard as opposed to a big lacking good footwork.

With this, footwork has taken a huge leap in the next-generation of gaming. Foot planting has been revamped from the ground up. In the past, some 2K gamers may have noticed odd sliding behavior, which players in the NBA obviously cannot do, this redesign should take care of that from now on.

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Unique PS5 Exclusive Button Changes

For Playstation 5 gamers, the introduction of new adaptive triggers allows NBA 2K21 to improve their gameplay functionality. 

One of the biggest ways gamers will notice this change is when pressing the R2 trigger, sprinting around on the court. As your player begins to get fatigued, the gamer will feel more resistance on the trigger, letting them know their player is wearing down. 

Another big way adaptive triggers are now being utilized is when in the post. A good, strong post player will feel slight resistance when holding L2, backing down in the paint. Whereas, a weaker post player will feel much more trigger resistance when attempting to make a move toward the basket, giving the gamer a better feel of each possession.

Purchasing NBA 2K21

At this point, you may be asking yourself again, when does NBA 2K21 come out for next-gen consoles? 

If you’re one of the few lucky ones able to get your hands on a next-gen Xbox or Playstation, NBA 2K21 is available to buy right now. 

There are several ways to purchase the game. Local retailers should have plenty in stock in stores or online. Otherwise, you can also purchase the digital versions of the game and begin installing it right now from your couch.

Past NBA 2K News

NBA 2K21 Demo Is Now Live

On August 24, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, the Nintendo Switch got access to the NBA 2K21 demo. Check out this almost 90-minute long video, or swipe down for a shorter alternative.

For more information on the demo check out the tweet below:

Early NBA 2K21 gameplay trailer

Check out the NBA 2K21 “Everything is Game” trailer below:

Next-generation prices

The price for the next-generation is $10 more than the current-generation. Publisher Take-Two Interactive boss Strauss Zelnick said the price reflects the quality of the experience. Adding that it was an extremely modest price change considering game prices hadn’t changed for a long time. See the prices per edition now.

NBA 2K21 announcement trailer

The trailer below was shown at a PlayStation 5 event, revealing super-high detail of Zion Williamson dribbling, shooting and dunking.

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Cost Per Edition:

Beyond next-gen support, price point and release date, this is what else we know about NBA 2K21.

NBA 2K21 Covers & Editions

One of the most-recent and important reveals showcased the cover athletes. From the four editions available, there will be three different athletes. Check them out below.

Current-gen, including Xbox One, PS4, Switch et al. editions: The cover shows Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard in action

Next-gen edition, Xbox Series X, and PlayStation 5: Despite barely playing before the 2019-20 NBA season was suspended back in March 11, New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson lands on the next-gen standard edition cover.

Special Mamba Forever edition for current and next-gen consoles: Kobe Bryant takes center stage on special edition covers

According to reports, the Mamba Forever edition allows a player to take current-gen progress on MyTEAM to the next-gen edition. Yet, you’ll need to have the special edition on current and next-gen consoles to do this.

The current-gen Mamba edition cover:

The next-gen Mamba edition cover:

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NBA 2K21 Pre-Order Rewards

If you pre-ordered NBA 2K21 you’ll get the following rewards, per edition:

Current-Gen Standard Edition ($59.99)

  • 5,000 VC
  • 5,000 MT
  • 10 MyTEAM Promo Packs
  • 9 MyCAREER Skill Boosts
  • 5-pair Shoe Collection
  • Damian Lillard Digital Collection

Next-Gen Standard Edition ($69.99)

  • 5,000 VC
  • 5,000 MT
  • 10 MyTEAM Promo Packs
  • 9 MyCAREER Skill Boosts
  • 5-pair Shoe Collection
  • Zion Williamson Digital Collection

Mamba Forever Edition ($99.99)

  • 100,000 VC
  • 10,000 MT
  • 10 MyTEAM Tokens
  • 60 MyCAREER Skill Boosts
  • 30 Gatorade Boosts
  • 40 MyTEAM Promo Packs
  • Sapphire Damian Lillard and Zion Williamson MyTEAM cards
  • MyPLAYER Shoe Collection
  • MyPLAYER backpack
  • Kobe Bryant Digital Collection

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Soundtrack Reveal

The NBA 2k21 soundtrack is available on Spotify. Including more songs than ever in an NBA 2K game.

Artists include: The Weeknd, Jack Harlow, Juice WRLD, Roddy Rich, the NBA’s own talent, Dame D.O.L.L.A. (Damian Lillard), and many others. Listen to the full soundtrack below:

Cryptic Teaser Box Sent Out

Last but not least, one lucky NBA 2K21 fan received a box that was full of redacted information before the game was released.

In the video below you can clearly see that the next-gen version is written as being different from the current-gen. What then follows is a host of buzzwords like aerodynamic, feel-the-energy, etc.

What any of that video means, we can only speculate on.

We believe the new perspective will be from the bench or courtside so that fans can get a feeling of being at a game. This will be a feature so fans can soak up the atmosphere due to live-sports being behind closed doors. As for the neighborhood feature, we’re just glad it hasn’t been forgotten.

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