We got our first glimpse of NBA 2K21 on Thursday afternoon at the PlayStation 5 reveal. The trailer was short, but it featured New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson.
Take a look at the trailer:
NBA 2K21’s Next-Gen Graphics Leap
By design, the first thing that jumps out at you when you see the trailer is the graphics. 2K has the sweat engine on fleek as a well-lathered Williamson works out in an empty gym. In all seriousness, the level of detail is stunning and it gives us a preview of what the new console generation will be able to do from a visual standpoint.
If you just look at the lead image and the thumbnail for the video above, you can see every pore in Williamson’s skin, details in his eyes, and hair that isn’t present in the current version. Is this as big of a graphical leap as we saw from the last generation of consoles to the current?
Based on the overall PS5 preview on Thursday, my answer would be no. However, there is still an obvious leap in overall fidelity, and that’s the first selling point for new systems.
From an animation standpoint, it’s hard to assess anything from this short preview. We’ll need to see the players on the floor together to see how they interact, especially with collisions and incidental contact. Secondly, we need to feel the weight of the players as we control them with the new console controllers.
NBA 2K21 Release Date Info
In the trailer, we learn NBA 2K21 will release in the Fall. That’s non-specific, but still committal on some levels. We have become accustomed to seeing the game drop in early September almost two months before the start of the actual NBA regular season. However, because of the delays and postponements created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2019-20 NBA season will be restarting in July, which means it will be finishing much later than normal. Therefore, the actual 2020-21 NBA season isn’t scheduled to begin until December 1.
Because the release of NBA 2K is usually weeks ahead of the start of the real NBA season, it seems logical to expect the release of NBA 2K21 around the beginning of November. That would also put it in retailers well in time for the holiday season.
Stay tuned for more information on this front as it becomes available.
Zion Williamson the NBA 2K21 Cover Guy?
At the very least, it would appear Williamson is poised to be the cover athlete of NBA 2K21’s Standard Edition. Traditionally, an active player takes that spot with a retired legend gracing the cover of some kind of legend’s edition.
It’s unlikely Williamson would be featured exclusively in the sizzle trailer if he wasn’t going to get the nod.
Kobe Bryant on the Legend’s Edition
The details of a legend’s edition are likely still a few days or weeks away, but it would be a major surprise if the recently deceased Kobe Bryant isn’t honored on the cover. There are obvious legal hurdles to overcome for this to happen, but it would seem the overwhelming sentiment would be for Bryant to be honored in some sort of Mamba Mentality Edition, or something similar.
Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available on every edition of NBA 2K21.