While the current-gen version of NBA 2K21 released last month to mixed reviews, as some felt like it was a copy-and-paste of last year’s game, Visual Concepts is promising a completely new experience on next-gen consoles, as their annual NBA game is set to be released on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X at some point after Microsoft and Sony release their next-gen consoles in November.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen a few gameplay videos for NBA 2K21 on next-gen consoles, and the visuals are stunning, as it’s certainly a significant visual upgrade. In addition to upgrading the graphics, Visual Concepts is promising changes in how players move both on and off the ball and on defense, as they explained how things will be different on next-gen consoles over on the official PlayStation Blog.
- Unique contextual motion assets for various basketball situations (Transition Stops, Leak Out, Guard Break, Anchor, Space Perimeter) bring awareness to the look of the players on the floor and give them more life. Improved pathing, cuts, and stops make defenders feel more grounded and fix a lot of the sliding from the previous generation. Overall improvement to motion stability and response. In other words, we smoothed out the twitchiness and players can more accurately follow exactly what you’re doing on the sticks. Updated player-size detection logic and greater emphasis on player differentiation. Bigs move like bigs and guards move like guards. This includes a lot of new animation content to support signature motion styles. Left stick taps allow you to play quick steps which are really helpful when you need to make subtle adjustments to your defensive position.
As of this writing, an official release date for NBA 2K21 on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X hasn’t been announced, but it’s probably safe to assume that it’ll be released sometime around Christmas.
For the NBA in real life, it looks like the league’s annual draft will take place on November 18, and its free agency period will begin on December 1. Of course, we don’t know when the league’s regular-season will begin, or if the league will be allowed to go back to business as usual, as opposed to having every team stuck in Orlando, Florida in what was known as “The Bubble.”
For now, though, the current-gen version of NBA 2K21 is available, although it isn’t much different from last year’s game, as it features, for the most part, the same gameplay and the same team rosters.