With the NBA off season going haywire with rumors and speculation, here we’re going to spin that towards NBA 2K15, namely the status of the PC version. There are questions, and very few answers, but let’s look at them anyway.
The one thing we’re pretty sure we know is that – according to online stores – it will cost $60 this year instead of the $30 previous PC NBA 2Ks have cost. That leads to the questions. Is it going to be a full-featured version, instead of only having the limited features of previous years? What about next-gen graphics? A fully feature-complete next-gen release on PC would be good, but I see some potential downfalls. I’m not that concerned about PCs being able to handle the graphics, but if 2K sees the market as potentially being smaller thanks to higher system requirements, that could give them pause. I think that PC gamers – core PC gamers – on the average have rigs that will be able to handle the full next-gen experience, so let’s write that off as a non-issue. More importantly, PC gaming makes cheating easier, and if 2K wants to port over a feature-complete version, they’ll want to include their Virtual Currency system.
This currency is used for unlocks and leveling in game and is earned through play, but can also be bolstered by spending real money. I don’t see 2K porting over VC and not offering it for sale (as on consoles), but unless they have a way, such as an always-online DRM, of ensuring that players cannot just get a cheat trainer or something and fill their coffers that way, it will be a fool’s errand. This would be my biggest worry if I were 2K Sports, but I assume they will have a way to work that out – they’re smart cookies.
One thing to consider, on the gamers’ side, is the frustration felt by fans when EA Sports kept releasing the PlayStation2 builds of NBA Live, years after the series came out on the Xbox 360 with its shiny new engine. That led to bad blood between the developers and the community, and ultimately resulted in EA no longer releasing NBA Live (or Madden, which was in the same boat) on the PC. Part of the frustration came from several years of last-gen versions and EA’s somewhat draconic stance that it wasn’t worth upgrading the PC version due to the smaller market and PCs in general being “too weak” for Xbox 360/PlayStation 3-era visuals. Should 2K release another last-gen version on PC this year, as long as it’s not feature-crippled or bug-ridden, I do not foresee the same backlash due to this being only the 2nd year of the Xbox One/PlayStation 4 versions – and the first year where that version releases concurrently with the last-gen versions – and also because 2K Sports simply hasn’t said anything on the matter at all. With this silence, there are no promises to break or bad feelings to soothe, but also a lot of room for speculation and rumors. Sounds like this year’s NBA off season, doesn’t it?