NBA 2K21 has managed to avoid being delayed, despite the fact that a number of other games due out around the same time have been so. Whilst the game is set to launch on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on September 4, 2020, it’s also coming to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. However, only one version of the game offers a free next-gen upgrade.
Currently you can pre-order NBA 2K21 for $60 retail on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. If you’d like a copy of the game that will upgrade for next-gen consoles, then the Mamba Forever Edition, priced at $100, is the only one that offers this.
The Mamba Forever Edition also has a number of other advantages over the other editions of the game. For example, it features the late Kobe Briant on the cover, and commemorates his career and contributions to the sport.
Current-generation copies of the game see Damian Lillard, of the Portland Trailblazers, on the cover. Finally, the standard edition of the game on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X has Zion Williamson on the cover.
It’s interesting that 2K Games aren’t offering an automatic free upgrade for next-gen consoles on current-gen versions of NBA 2K21. Many publishers, such as Ubisoft with Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and EA with Madden NFL 21, are offering this service without the need to purchase the most expensive version of the game.
It seems as though 2K is trying to recoup the lost costs with a free upgrade on the Mamba Forever Edition through that price inflation. It’s just under twice the price of the game on current-gen consoles, meaning that 2K will see a consumer effectively pay for the game twice. This could be their reasoning for only offering a next-gen upgrade on this version.
However, unlike other games, NBA 2K21 sees much more than a visual upgrade on next-gen consoles. The game is said to be built for those consoles from the ground up, meaning that online progression will carry over, but everything else will be brand new in it, even for players who have been enjoying the franchise for years.
Should the game appear to be nothing more than a visual upgrade on these next-gen consoles though, 2K will face some serious backlash.