At this point, we’ve already seen the major selling points for the current-generation version of NBA 2K21. UPDATED – 2K leaned on their VC South Studio for a portion of the development of the game, and didn’t add a ton of features.
However, they did refine the gameplay to a point where–based on what I experienced in the demo–is perhaps in the best place it’s been for a few years.
The question to consumers considering if they should purchase this version or wait for the next-generation iteration on the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X boils down to a simple concept: is there enough here to justify an early purchase?
I’ve spoken with developers from 2K, and while they haven’t revealed specifics, their references to the next-gen version come with this special twinkle in their eyes, or a tone that suggests we’re headed for the kind of reveal we experienced when NBA 2K14 was unveiled for PlayStation 4.
To this day, that is one of my fondest memories not just as a journalist, but as a gamer. That version of the series was a game-changer, and in many ways, buried the NBA Live franchise in a way that it has yet to recover. If that’s what’s on the way, what is a hardcore 2K gamer to do?
By my estimation, having considered all the facts, it only makes sense to buy the current-gen version of NBA 2K21 if you fit into one of two consumer profiles.
You Don’t Plan on Upgrading to PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X
The economy isn’t in the best situation in the United States and in other countries. The global pandemic has done a number on several industries, and there’s at least a decent chance your job has been impacted by COVID-19.
Because of this, you may not be able to justify spending the estimated $500-$700 required just to get your foot into the next-gen door at launch in the next few months.
Different, but in the same category, you may be the kind of person who never purchases a console at launch because you believe–and there is history that supports this concept–that systems are always problematic when released.
The finishing touches have been placed on the PS5 and Xbox Series X while the world has been detoured by the pandemic. It’s not crazy to think that the early versions of the system could have some bumps in the road during the first few months.
In any case, you’re not getting a new system anytime soon, and that would mean the current-gen version of NBA 2K21, in it’s refined glory, is the best buy for you. Something tells me, you will not be alone.
You’re a Hardcore MyTeam Player
If you have been seriously bitten by the MyTeam bug, you might not be able to pass on the opportunity to start building your collection next week.
MyTeam collections, MyTeam points, and VC will carry over from current-gen to next-gen, so that means that if you have a chance to acquire the Pink Diamond Steph Curry or Manu Ginobili (unconfirmed, but expected) you’re probably going to want to have them ready to go on your next-gen console.
In this situation, you’re going to want to buy the Mamba Forever Edition for $99.99, which will give you the Standard Edition on next-gen for free (which is all you need, because you’ll have already receive your VC bonuses for pre-ordering).
This approach will have you ready to hit the ground running as soon as the PS5 or Xbox Series X is available.
Unless you identify with either of those two situations, or need the systems to do your job–like me–you could wait.