NBA 2K21 will cost more on next-gen consoles - and you'll have to pay to upgrade

With the end of the current console generation fast approaching, there are plenty of people wondering how publishers and developers will handle cross-generation games. On Xbox Series X, we'll see Smart Delivery, a feature that lets customers buy a game on either Xbox One or Xbox Series X and own it on the other platform, but Microsoft isn't forcing publishers to participate in that program. One publisher who clearly won't be participating in Smart Delivery is 2K Games with NBA 2K21.

Today, 2K Games announced its launch strategy for NBA 2K21, and it's a little bit convoluted. On September 4th, we'll see NBA 2K21 launch for Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X versions of the game are slated to launch during the 2020 holiday season, which suggests they could be launch titles for the new consoles.

Regardless, 2K revealed today that while the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of the game will run the standard $59.99, the next-generation version of the game will run $69.99. If you want to buy NBA 2K21 on current-gen consoles and upgrade to the next-gen version when the new consoles launch, you'll have to buy the Mamba Forever Edition, which runs $99.99 but will get you current and next-gen versions of the game for the same family of consoles (so, for instance, buying the Mamba Forever Edition of the game for Xbox will get you copies for both Xbox One and Xbox Series X).

To be sure, dropping $100 on the Mamba Forever Edition – which is replacing the typical Legend Edition in honor of Kobe Bryant – is a lot cheaper than buying a current-gen copy for $60 and then dropping another $70 for the same game on new consoles, but with a number of publishers committing to free generational upgrades for their games, 2K Games charging a premium to upgrade may not sit well with a lot of players.

In any case, 2K Games says that NBA 2K21 will feature cross-progression for MyTEAM, which includes a shared VC wallet within the same console family. All MyTEAM points, tokens, cards, and progress will be available across both versions of NBA 2K21, so if you pick up the Mamba Forever Edition, at least you'll be able to keep your MyTEAM progress as you jump between consoles. We'll let you know when 2K shares more about NBA 2K21, so stay tuned for that.