The next-gen versions of the annual basketball sim will retail for $69.99/£64.99, while the PS4 and Xbox One versions will be somewhat cheaper at $59.99/£54.99. Such a difference isn’t huge, but could certainly add up if this becomes commonplace across the medium.
2K has said the PS5 and Xbox Series X releases of NBA 2K21 have been “built from the ground up for next-generation consoles” which presumably hints at improved visuals and better performance as a result of the new hardware. Beyond a brief trailer, we’ve yet to see these results for ourselves, so hopefully they’re substantial.
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A potential increase in the traditional pricing model was discussed by former PlayStation boss Shawn Layden in a recent conference. “It’s been $59.99 since I started in this business, but the cost of games have gone up ten times. If you don’t have elasticity on the price-point, but you have huge volatility on the cost line, the model becomes more difficult. I think this generation is going to see those two imperatives collide.”
Layden said a solution to this problem would be for developers to return to shorter experiences that span 12 – 15 hours, instead of the open-world epics we’re so used to seeing in the console space. NBA 2K21 is an annual sports title, so doesn’t really fall into that debate. Its predecessor, NBA 2K20, was released less than a year ago and has already been heavily discounted and given away for free on PlayStation Plus. So perhaps players who don’t want a higher price simply need to wait a bit longer.
The current generation versions of NBA 2K21 will release on September 3, and 2K has confirmed that MyTeam points, progress and cards will carry over to the new platforms. There has currently been no word on a free upgrade for existing owners though. That is, unless you buy the Mamba Forever Edition, which will provide players with a free version of the standard edition on new consoles when it arrives later this year.