Well, I think we could all see this one coming. Take-Two Interactive took to a press release this morning to announce NBA 2K21 editions for both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Exciting news, especially with the current generation versions releasing in a few months, but there is one catch: The next-gen versions will cost $10 more than the standard retail price that we've come to expect. This marks the first next-gen game to do so, and it likely signals a trend that's going to sink throughout the entire industry when it comes to next-generation pricing. Most games announced so far for next-gen haven't stated their prices yet, nor do we know how much their respective consoles will cost. It was only a matter of time, though, and it signals a shift both in the industry and the development process of games nowadays.

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"We believe our suggested retail price for NBA 2K21 on next-generation platforms fairly represents the value of what's being offered: power, speed and technology that is only possible on new hardware," said a Take-Two spokesperson to outlet Kotaku. As the studio has put it, they're effectively reworking NBA 2K21 from the ground up for next-gen, providing a wholly superior experience over the original versions. This news rings an ironic echo after the article we posted just the other day about former PlayStation head Shawn Layden. In it, Layden stated that he would welcome a return to smaller, tighter experiences in the AAA gaming space. This is due to the gigantic costs shackled onto bigger projects these days, and as he astutely noted, games can't stay at a $60 asking price with budgets this huge. It's been $60 for over a decade now, and despite warnings, it didn't show any signs of changing until just recently.

This simply reflects the equally rising costs of creating games on next-gen software, which provides all sorts of improvements like better load times, audio, and 8K graphical support. It's hard to say if other games will follow suit, or if NBA 2K21 is just going to remain an outlier, but it wouldn't surprise me if other studios took notice and followed the leader. NBA 2K21 will release with a special Mamba Forever Edition that sports the late-and-great Kobe Bryant on the cover, honoring his life and legacy while providing the player with a lot of Kobe Bryant-themed goodies. It's important to note that NBA 2K21 won't support Xbox Smart Delivery or any similar service on the PS5, meaning you won't get a free upgrade if you decide to buy the current-gen version. The only way around this is to go for the aforementioned Mamba Forever edition, which runs an asking price of $99.99. One of the perks it comes with is a free upgrade to next-gen when the time arrives. This is likely due to Take-Two's same reasoning behind the $70 asking point: the work involved.

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NBA 2K21 releases worldwide on September 4th for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows PC, and Google Stadia. Due to all of the things discussed in this news story, I wouldn't blame you for waiting a bit to purchase the next-gen version when the time comes. There's no solid date on when we can expect that, of course, since both PS5 and XSX remain in the nebulous 'Holiday 2020' release window for the time being. Also, do keep in mind that Take Two is using this $70 pricing as a 'suggested' price for the game, in their own words. This means retailers who sell it may decide to charge more, or just charge the standard rate of $60. Nothing's set in stone, basically, so just keep a careful watch out.

Tanner
Tanner

Tanner is a freelance writer. He enjoys all things video games, particularly the weirder ones, and can often be found drinking coffee and trying to get through his backlog.

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