20 Jul 2021 6:43 PM +00:00

NBA 2K22 can't rescue current gen with a cruise ship

NBA 2K22 finally started to reveal more details about this year's gameplay features, and current gen is getting a cruise ship experience in Neighborhood.

Unfortunately, it looks like even that won't be enough, as NBA 2K22 will have tons of exciting features that remain exclusive to next gen platforms.

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NBA 2K22 needs you to move on to next gen

If you haven't gotten a PS5 or Xbox Series X|S, it'll become clear very quickly that NBA 2K22 is doing everything it can to push you into making that purchase.

Unfortunately, that's happening despite continued supply issues all of these next gen consoles more difficult to find right now.

NBA 2K22 Candace Parker next gen current gen features
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On top of that, purchasing a new console for several hundred dollars is an expense that a lot of gamers can't justify right now, especially as the economic impact of the global pandemic continues to be felt.

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While some may wonder how much that matters when people who want to play NBA 2K22 will still have to pay for it, finding a way to fit in a $60 expense is entirely different than a $300+ expense for many players.

Unfortunately, you'll have to find a way to manage that expense if you want to get the most out of NBA 2K22 and all of the next gen exclusives.

For the record, the featured image we used for this article isn't from NBA 2K22, and that's because 2K Sports has yet to actually show anyone any real footage from the game.

Neighborhood cruise ship feels more like cruise control

When it comes to current gen NBA 2K22, which is the version that all players on PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch will receive, there's only one new selling point.

While general upgrades to core gameplay, updated rosters, and new content in MyTEAM will be coming to all platforms, none of those really qualify as legitimately new features or anything diverging from last year.

NBA 2K22 cruise ship
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The Neighborhood, which is a bit like the neglected step-brother of The City at this point, is taking to the high seas in NBA 2K22 by placing players on a cruise ship.

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The actual courts will be built onto the deck of a cruise ship, and NBA 2K22 will provide unique shore excursions that should change with each of the new Seasons.

Unfortunately, the experience is going to be missing most of the exciting additions we're seeing in The City and a lot of the potential integration with other game modes.

Everything The City (next gen) gets that The Neighborhood (current gen) doesn't

All those new features we got today for NBA 2K22, the reality is that the vast majority of players will never see them or get to enjoy them.

NBA 2K22 current gen dirk nowitzki
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While the next gen player base is only going to grow from here, the likelihood is that well over half, perhaps as much as 80% based on all-time console sales, of NBA 2K22 gamers are still on current gen platforms.

That means that each of these features will be missing in their version of the game:

  • The City, an open-world RPG styled experience
  • Matchmaking sessions for multiple game types
  • Your MyPLAYER's upgradable house in The City
  • MyCAREER integrated with The City and MyPLAYER progress
  • MyNBA & MyWNBA franchise/team management mode
  • The W, a WNBA version of MyCAREER added last year on next gen
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While there are more details to each of these additions, those aren't details you'll really need to concern yourself if you're still stuck on any of the current gen platforms.

The cruise ship concept for Neighborhood isn't technically bad in and of itself, but it looks disappointing to abysmal when considering everything that next gen players will receive by comparison.

PC is still the elephant in the current gen room

Of course, there's still one massive asterisk to "current gen" that hovers outside the conversation begging to be mentioned: PC somehow still isn't next gen.

Despite the fact that most modern gaming PCs can boast equivalent or even better technical specs than the Xbox Series X|S or PS5, it's still a bit odd that 2K Sports won't count it as next gen.

While not confirmed, there are theories that industry pressure by Sony and Microsoft have pushed companies to incentivize players to purchase next gen consoles by providing these kinds of exclusive features.

NBA 2K22 current gen luka doncic pc
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Usually, the argument by developers is that current gen platforms just can't handle the processing requirements these features need to run smoothly, which is arguable for some features when you consider the age of the Xbox One, PS4, and Nintendo Switch.

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Those consoles all exist from another era, and have objectively inferior power when compared to the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S, but the same can't be said for PC.

While some PC players may not have the kind of rig that can handle next gen features, that's no different than every other resource-intensive PC game that gets released.

NBA 2K22 on PC is still being built with low-end specs in mind, which is ironic because dedicated PC gamers are the ones who have a rig that can run next gen features, whereas those that don't are more likely to have a console.

Maybe PC players can find a way to mod other cruise ships into NBA 2K22, because otherwise there isn't much incentive to buy the game on PC.

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