NBA tips off early in new videogames

Thu Oct 2, 2008 3:17pm EDT
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By John Gaudiosi

VANCOUVER, Canada (Reuters Life!) - Gamers get to hit the virtual hardwood early as new NBA videogames hit store shelves just as training camps begin.

The latest installments of 2K Sports' "NBA 2K9," EA Sports' "NBA Live 09" and Sony Computer Entertainment America's "NBA 09 The Inside" bring all of the basketball action to life on consoles and portable devices.

There are two new trends in NBA gaming that will change the way the sport is played virtually. When the real season starts both 2K Sports and EA Sports will link the on-court player heroics and let-downs with the in-game experience.

2K Sports calls the feature Living Rosters. It offers a weekly adjustment showing how teams and players have performed in the NBA translated into new in-game moves and abilities.

"I think it's big," said 2008 World Champion Boston Celtic Kevin Garnett. "The fact that the game's keeping track of all the players in the league says a lot. I think Living Rosters is the future of gaming."

EA Sports has partnered with Synergy, the statistics tracker that records every play during the season for the 20 NBA teams, to bring daily updates of how real NBA players are performing into the videogame.

"We use Synergy (in the NBA) in a number of important ways like player acquisitions to see how he might work in the sets you use on your team," said Daryl Morey, general manager of the Houston Rockets.

"We also use it for player development to see where their strengths and weaknesses are. And it's great for defensive game planning, when you're trying to put the player on the other team in their least successful option."   Continued...