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The 2K Sports title will be available on console starting Thursday, March 4, and it will also be available to stream via the cloud for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members.
An Xbox.com post announcing the news mentions both Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One consoles, but it’s not clear if the version of NBA 2K21 coming to Game Pass is the next-gen version, or the last-gen game (which is playable on Series X and S via backwards compatibility).
The next-gen basketball game released in November for Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5, as well as last-gen consoles, with its publisher promising ‘never before seen’ levels of visual fidelity in the former version.
“Never before have we been able to deliver this level of visual fidelity and realism in a video game,” said Greg Thomas, president of developer Visual Concepts, in a prepared statement.
“NBA 2K21 is the standout title that best delivers the promise of next-gen: truly revolutionary graphics, lighting-fast load times and incredible new features and gameplay only possible on next-generation hardware.”
NBA 2K21 was the first next-gen game to be priced at $70 and other publishers have since followed suit including Activision and Sony.
Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick has said he believes the industry’s “close” to delivering games that are indistinguishable from real life. The executive told CNBC that PS5 and Xbox Series X would help developers achieve photorealism.
“We have a new console generation coming and that’s going to allow us to do some things that we haven’t been able to do before creatively, that’s exciting,” he said.
“But as I’ve said before, we’re going to reach a point where you won’t be able to tell the difference between what’s created in the computer and what’s real.”