NBA 2K21 Next-Gen Gameplay Reveal

NBA2K21 was released on current-gen platforms back in September, but now… now it’s time for the moment we’ve all been waiting for, the next-generation gameplay reveal.

When the Playstation 4 and Xbox One consoles released way back in 2013, NBA2K14 was a must-own launch title. It showcased what those machines were capable of and it swiftly ushered in a new era of sports gaming. The now iconic, NBA2K14 – Momentous Trailer, has gone down in sports gaming history as a standout moment and who can forget video game James turning up at E3 2013, to talk to himself digitally. 

Now, NBA2K21 does the same, setting itself apart at launch by leveraging the power of the new machines to deliver a generational leap.

As you can see, NBA2K21 on the new platforms has been built entirely from the ground up, allowing the franchise to reach new heights in graphical performance, whilst taking full advantage of the raw power now available in the Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X. Faster loading times, provided by each console’s unique SSD architecture, combine with higher resolution 4K graphics to give NBA2K fans the most true-to-life experience yet.

NBA 2K21 will be available on November 10 for Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S globally, November 12 for PlayStation®5 in the US, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea, and November 19 for PlayStation 5 in all other regions.

“Never before have we been able to deliver this level of visual fidelity and realism in a video game,” stated Greg Thomas, president of Visual Concepts. “NBA 2K21 is the standout title that best delivers the promise of next-gen: truly revolutionary graphics, lighting-fast load times and incredible new features and gameplay only possible on next-generation hardware.”

The new trailer features a raw look at next-gen gameplay, presenting viewers with an exhibition game between the Golden State Warriors and Dallas Mavericks. For the first time we see a player tracked from the tunnel, as Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic walks onto the court, dapping up team owner Mark Cuban on the way. It’s a unique touch, appreciated by the hardcore NBA fan and it’s the sort of forensic detail NBA2K fans have come to expect.

Around the arena, the crowd has been noticeably upgraded, powered by a new AI system that according to 2K Sports “ensures every single person in the arena is brought to life”. Also showcased is a new Rail Cam, which presents NBA2K21 in a way we haven’t seen before, creating dynamic and visually stunning camera angles of Dallas’ American Airlines Center. Features only possible on the new machines, such as Ray-Tracing are seen, providing realistic lighting by simulating the physical behavior of light. And if you freeze the video on the backboard close-up, you can quite clearly see the wear-and-tear caused by 82 regular season games. 

The level of detail witnessed on the players’ jerseys is perhaps the most obvious highlight when it comes to the graphical leap in player models, these jerseys look REAL.

However, it remains to be seen just how much the on-court player animations have improved. Judging from this teaser, it looks as realistic as ever and there’s certainly a lot of intricate movements taking place in the paint, as we see Klay Thompson score from down-town. 

The Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X versions of NBA 2K21 are positioned to be an awesome leap forward and the largest game in franchise history. So much has been expanded and improved upon, including:

  • An eye-popping leap in graphical advancements: next-gen lighting, textures, physics, animations, and more that push NBA 2K21’s visual presentation to the bleeding edge;
  • Rebuilt player movement and player impact, driven by new on-court animation and collision engines that make for a smoother, tougher game;
  • The entire arena comes to life, with more than 150 unique AI-driven characters interacting seamlessly to create a groundbreaking Lower Bowl experience;
  • An expanded soundtrack with 202 songs at launch and more to come.

Today’s gameplay video is just the beginning with much more next-gen NBA 2K21 information coming soon. Beginning tomorrow, 2K Sports will be breaking down all of the new next-gen gameplay-specific features across three Courtside Reports that cover core gameplay, new movement and the “Impact Engine,” as well as next-gen AI and major changes to the MyPLAYER Builder. Additionally, in the coming weeks, NBA 2K fans can look forward to learning about what’s new in MyCAREER, the WNBA, MyGM, and MyLEAGUE. And of course, fans will get an in-depth look into what will be the biggest expansion of NBA 2K’s online basketball community feature yet: the experience formerly known as the Neighborhood.


Developed by Visual Concepts, NBA 2K21 for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S is Rated PEGI 3. For more information on NBA 2K21, please visit https://nba.2k.com/.

Visual Concepts is a 2K studio. 2K is a wholly owned publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO).