NBA 2K19 Reveal: What to Expect, When to Expect it & Why

Like other sports games, such as the Madden franchise, NBA 2K sees an annual release meaning we’ll be able to expect another release in this long-running sports sim some time later this year.

With the focus now on the current generation of consoles, even including the Nintendo Switch, the ability to have a more polished game is possible more now than ever.

Even though the Nintendo Switch version was largely stripped down from its Xbox One, PS4 and PC big brothers, it still featured a fully playable NBA 2K18 on the go, which is nice. Barring any unforeseen changes, NBA 2K will appear on the Switch again this year, making the title available on every platform.

Note: Much of this post is speculative but has and will continue to be updated as information is revealed.

See Also: FIFA 19

Why We Should Expect an NBA 2K19 Reveal

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The NBA 2K series is a hit among average players and even professional athletes so it makes no sense for it not be coming back for another year. You can pretty much guarantee this game will be around for the immediate future.

NBA 2K18 introduced the “Run the Neighborhood” mode which gave players a sandbox to put their MyPlayers in and roam around with friends. Much of the hype leading up to the game revolved around that mode so we will probably be getting some more buildup with this year’s version.

There is also a newly created NBA 2K esports league which has sponsorships from real NBA teams and has a large prize pool available for players. If that is going to keep going then it’ll definitely need the support of more 2K games.

We can probably expect an Xbox One, PS4 and PC version of 2K no matter what but the Nintendo Switch version might not be a slam dunk.

When You Should Expect It

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7/2/18 Update: NBA 2K19 is coming September 11 while Anniversary Edition owners will be able to play September 7. NBA 2K19: The Prelude is coming August 31 for Xbox One and PS4.

With the NBA Playoffs starting up, basketball fever is at its season-long high. It’s around this time you can usually find deep discounts on the current NBA 2K game as hype begins to mount for the next iteration.

The 2K games tend to release in mid to late September so we can probably expect a release date in that ballpark again this year. Just because the game releases late in the year doesn’t mean the summer months don’t help build hype towards the game.

The day before the NBA Finals began last year it was announced that then-Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving would be the cover athlete for the upcoming game. After that we received a lot of news about the upcoming Neighborhood mode so we won’t just drip fed information over prolonged periods of time.

Who Will Be on the Cover?

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The NBA 2K series has never been shy about repeating cover stars so it’s hard to rule out anybody in this case. Remember that Allen Iverson was the cover athlete many years in a row.

There are a variety of options to choose from and one of our favorites would have to be Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook. Westbrook is coming off averaging back-to-back triple doubles for a season making him an excellent choice for this year’s cover athlete.

Other choices would of course be LeBron James, Stephen Curry, even Karl Anthony-Towns wouldn’t be a bad choice since he helped the Timberwolves end their prolonged playoffs drought this year.

It has since been revealed Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo has been named as the standard edition’s cover star. The Greek Freak becomes the first international star to appear on the cover.

“I am honored to be the first international player featured on the cover of NBA 2K19,” said Antetokounmpo in a press release. “I love playing NBA 2K so this means a lot to me. I have worked hard to earn recognition in the NBA and being on the cover of NBA 2K19 is a dream come true.”

The 20th Anniversary Edition of NBA 2K19 has named LeBron James as the cover star.

“It’s humbling to be on the 20th anniversary cover of a game I’ve played and loved since I was a little kid,” said James in a press release. “We were able to do something really unique for the cover that represents everything that drives me and inspires me – from my family to where I come from and words I live by. I’m honored my journey can be part of this special time in 2K history and I’m excited for fans to see it.”

The Anniversary Edition will also come with the following items:

  • 100,000 Virtual Currency;
  • 50,000 MyTEAM points;
  • 20 MyTEAM League Packs (delivered one a week)
  • Sapphire LeBron James MyTEAM Card;
  • 10 MyTEAM Heat Check Packs (delivered one a week beginning at the start of the NBA season)
  • 5 LeBron-themed murals for MyCOURT;
  • LeBron MyCOURT design;
  • King’s Collection – Nike LeBron apparel & footwear (25 pairs!)

Physical Items include:

  • LeBron NBA 2K19 poster;
  • NBA 2K sticker sheet;
  • Custom Wristband featuring LeBron’s chosen words.

If you purchase the game digitally you will not have access to the physical items.

Game Modes

2K Sports

We’ll certainly be able to add to this once the game is actually revealed but you can probably expect the staples to return: MyGM, MyCareer, Season, etc.

One thing we’ll be keeping an eye on this year is the return of the Neighborhood mode. This was the most anticipated mode from the last game so it’ll certainly appeal to players again this year. There’s no telling what 2K has in store for us but we’re certainly excited for it.

Will it be on the Nintendo Switch?

7/2/18 Update: A Switch version has been confirmed.

This question might be hard to answer. We don’t have exact sales numbers on the Switch version of the game but we do know there’s no way it did as well as it did on PS4 and Xbox One.

To make matters worse the Switch version required players to own an SD card since the game was too big to fit on Nintendo’s cartridge. This meant players had to take an extra step to play 2K on their Switch, but this problem has also plagued other third-party games.

At this point we expect the title to make an appearance on the Switch since it did last year but there’s no telling how far the support will go in the future. The Wii U received just one 2K title before support was cut off so only 2K actually knows the true answer to this.

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