*UPDATED* NBA 2K21: Demo announced, release date, gameplay features, trailer, price, cover athletes, next-gen, news, updates & everything you need to know

2K is bringing the heat with their this year – they have built from the ground up for next-gen.

Tom Young by Tom Young
nba 2k21 announce cover everything

NBA 2K21 is getting closer, and the reveals are coming in fast!

Here’s everything you need to know about the game.

GET MAMBA EDITION NBA 2K21 HERE!

Latest News – Demo announced!

A huge Courtside Report has landed with a lot of gameplay info.

In with it all though, was the announcement and date of the NBA 2K21 demo!

NBA 2K21 release date

NBA 2K21’s release date will be Friday, 4 September.

READ MORE: NBA 2K21 PS5: Price Confirmed, Dual Access, Specs & more

Given everything that’s happened this year, it’s quite impressive the game is on schedule with previous releases.

GET MAMBA EDITION NBA 2K21 HERE!

Price

NBA 2K21 is the first game heading to next-gen that will be bumping its price up to $70 – something that might set the standard for other games as well.

nba 2k21 next gen pricing
BUMPED UP: NBA 2K21 is the first major title to introduce a higher price tag for its next-gen edition, something we could see others emulate

The Current-Gen Standard Edition of NBA 2K21 will cost £54.99 / $59.99.

The Next-Gen Standard Edition of NBA 2K21 will cost £64.99 / $69.99.

The Mamba Forever Edition of NBA 2K21 will cost £84.99 / $99.99.

Editions

NBA 2K21 will give players some tough choices when it comes to editions.

The Current-Gen Standard Edition of NBA 2K21 will be available right from release day on 4 September. And while you’ll be able to play it on next-gen consoles with backwards compatibility, it will be missing some exclusive features of the next-gen version. The only progress that will carry over to next-gen versions will be MyTEAM.

READ MORE: NBA 2K21 Buyer’s Guide: Which edition should you buy?

MAMBA FOREVER
LEGEND: Kobe has taken pride of place in NBA 2K21

The Next-Gen Standard Edition of NBA 2K21 will be available on release of next-gen consoles, currently slated for Holiday 2020. It will feature exclusive features that we haven’t gotten all the details of just yet, but will at least include incredibly fast load times, new gameplay features, and adjustments to game modes.

READ MORE: NBA 2K21 Xbox Series X: Price Revealed, Dual Access, Specs & more

The Mamba Forever Edition of NBA 2K21 is a package deal that will allow players to play the current-gen version of NBA 2K21 on release day, 4 September, and also includes the next-gen version of the game which is expected to be available Holiday 2020, giving access to the exclusive next-gen features.

Cover Stars

Damian Lillard, Zion Williamson, and Kobe Bryant will be the trio of cover stars for NBA 2K21.

READ MORE: NBA 2K21: How other games may adapt The Park – Madden 21, FIFA 21, The Yard, NHL 21

Damian Lillard is the face of NBA 2K21’s Current-Gen Standard Edition for Xbox One, PS4, PC, and Stadia.

nba 2k21 damian lillard cover 1
A WELCOME SURPRISE: Damian Lillard has finally earned his cover spot with NBA 2K21

Zion Williamson is the face of NBA 2K21’s Next-Gen Standard Edition for PS5 and Xbox Series X.

NBA 2K21 Cover Reveal Zion 1920x1080 PEGI EN
ROOKIE LEGEND: Zion Williamson earned a cover spot in his very first NBA season

Kobe Bryant is the face of NBA 2K21’s Mamba Forever Edition – and will receive two covers with the package deal, one for current-gen, and one for next-gen.

nba 2k21 kobe next gen current 1
MAMBA FOREVER: On the left is the current-gen cover, on the left is the next-gen

Pre-Order

Just like previous releases, pre-ordering NBA 2K21 will give you a head start on MyTEAM, your MyPLAYER, and plenty more.

nba 2k21 pre order
EARLY BIRD GETS THE WORM: Pre-ordering NBA 2K21 lets you get ahead of the curve

Pre-ordering NBA 2K21 will earn you the following rewards:

NBA 2K21 Current-Gen Standard Edition

  • 5,000 VC
  • 5,000 MT
  • 10 MyTEAM Promo Packs
  • 9 MyCAREER Skill Boosts
  • 5-pair Shoe Collection
  • Damian Lillard Digital Collection

NBA 2K21 Next-Gen Standard Edition

  • 5,000 VC
  • 5,000 MT
  • 10 MyTEAM Promo Packs
  • 9 MyCAREER Skill Boosts
  • 5-pair Shoe Collection
  • Zion Williamson Digital Collection

NBA 2K21 Mamba Forever Edition

  • 100,000 VC
  • 10,000 MT
  • 10 MyTEAM Tokens
  • 60 MyCAREER Skill Boosts
  • 30 Gatorade Boosts
  • 40 MyTEAM Promo Packs
  • Sapphire Damian Lillard and Zion Williamson MyTEAM cards
  • MyPLAYER Shoe Collection
  • MyPLAYER backpack
  • Kobe Bryant Digital Collection

Gameplay Trailer

The latest trailer from 2K shows off the stunning current-gen gameplay.

WATCH THE CURRENT-GEN GAMEPLAY TRAILER!

If it looks this good on a PS4 or Xbox One, can you imagine it on next-gen!?

Reveal Trailer

We saw NBA 2K21’s Official Reveal Trailer during the PS5 reveal event in June.

You can watch the trailer below:

While the trailer may have featured more sweat than gameplay, it definitely generated plenty of hype!

MyPLAYER

MyPLAYER progression will not transfer from current-gen to next-gen.

Given the two-month gap between NBA 2K21’s release date and the expected release of next-gen consoles, that could be a problem.

Next-gen players are expecting to get a few extra features with MyPLAYER, however, so it could be worth the wait.

NBA 2K21 Soundtrack

The beats are out, the soundtrack has been revealed.

nba 2k21 soundtrack all
PLUG IN: Hit the court with these artists

Wishlists

There’s nothing but potential behind NBA 2K21 as a next-gen debut.

READ MORE: Real Opinions – NBA 2K21 could be the best yet with these changes

Because of this, we have some pretty big asks across our wishlists for the game. These include changes to MyGM, MyTEAM, MyLEAGUE, MyCAREER, Park/Neighborhood, and maybe even the inclusion of an NCAA game mode.

If 2K Games can pull even a few of these off, this game could be the best in the series.

MyCAREER

In the current generation of sports games, offline titles seem to be a thing of the past, with many players opting to tackle the challenges of the online modes.

That’s not the case with MyCAREER.

Idris Elba featured in NBA 2K20's career mode
GUEST STAR: Idris Elba makes a surprise appearance in NBA 2K20 as your rival in MyCAREER

This year’s mode was the best to date by far. Star names such as Idris Elba and LeBron James lent their voice to characters in the SpringHill produced ‘When The Lights Are Brightest’ MyCAREER.

READ MORE: NBA 2K20 has the best career mode you’ll ever play

While the storyline and career progression in this year’s mode was incredible, there are still areas to improve, including story depth, choices, voices, nicknames and more.

MyTEAM

Another largely successful game mode in the NBA 2K series, including the most recent NBA 2K20, is the squad building Ultimate Team answer MyTEAM.

NBA 2K20's MyTeam
THE MARKETPLACE: There’s plenty to do to improve your squad in MyTEAM

It has had its fair share of controversy last year. In order to encourage participation, players are rewarded with mini-games such as drop the ball or spin the wheel.

Combining these casino-style mini-games with the ability to spend real money to purchase packs in an attempt to better your team has caused some pushback from the community, who believe that 2K are promoting gambling to a young audience. Could we see these mini-games removed in 2K21?

READ MORE: NBA 2K20 MyTeam tips & tricks

There are certainly a lot of microtransactions in MyTEAM, meaning it is tough for casual players to compete with those willing to invest some extra money into the game. It’s not uncommon, but with the game bumping up price for next-gen editions, we hope to see it slow down.

MyGM

MyGM is a unique game mode for the NBA 2K series with a lot of potential. Unfortunately that potential simply wasn’t delivered on in NBA 2K20.

nba 2k21 mygm chit chat gm mode next gen
DID HE JUST…: MYGM writing could use a major overhaul in NBA 2K21

MyGM in NBA 2K20 picked up a collection of frustrating features and boring mechanics. But with some reshaping, this could be one of the most popular game modes in the series.

READ MORE: NBA 2K20: MyTEAM Guide – How to win without spending big

MyGM in NBA 2K20 relies on a “chit-chat” system to retain every talent in your organization from scouts to coaches to players. It includes some of the worst dialogue ever written into a major sports franchise with lines like “Oceans or lakes…WHO YA GOT?”

With some adjustment, MyGM has a bright future in NBA 2K21.

Next-Gen vs Current Gen

With NBA 2K21 releasing for both current-gen and next-gen, what could we expect to see in terms of difference between the two versions?

As usual, Reddit is the spot for passionate and informed opinions, with one thread suggesting that we may not see a vast difference between the versions.

We may see loading times improved thanks to the power of Xbox Series X and PS5, and perhaps higher FPS and resolution.

PS5 Digital
NEXT-WHEN? We still haven’t got a release date, but we know it’s coming Holiday 2020

However, due to the pandemic, it would be understandable if 2K were unable to create an ‘optimised for next-gen’ title, whereby they developed it to fully utilise all the power on offer.

This is by no means a bad thing, the game looks fantastic and is likely to play even better!

Tom Young