Live “The Life” on PS3 with NBA 09: The Inside

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I’m Brandon Akiaten, Producer/Director of ‘The Life’ for NBA 09 The Inside. This year is our debut of ‘The Life’ onto the PS3. We introduced this feature previously on the PS2 version and our goal was to bring the end user closer to the experience of an NBA player. Beyond the bright lights, the hardwood floor, and the excitement of the crowd, our goal was to show that it takes more than practice to make it as an NBA star. We want the end user to experience the conflicts, the victories, the losses, the limelight and all that comes with the entire package… a perspective that very few get to see.

As fans we pay for our ticket and expect a show, and then we go home after a few hours and go on with our day. These athletes have to live with the wins, the losses, the injuries, the hype, the criticisms, the business, and the drama. We need to remember that these basketball players are humans and go through struggles of their own. We wanted to explore what kind of character and integrity it takes to endure that and still perform on the grand stage of the NBA. Flash and money is certainly part of that lifestyle, but stuff like that does not last the test of time. The integrity and value of a character’s heart does.

In the past we did this by creating a compelling storyline centered on a point guard, driven by a unique gameplay experience. This year we raised the bar and created 3 unique storylines focusing on all five positions with gameplay that is customized to their role on the court. With the advanced features of the PS3 we have gone beyond the sim experience in our product and put the end user in the drivers seat of an entertaining, cinematic experience. To really put you in that role we’ve created scenes on the court that set the user up for what he’s supposed to do. For example, the user will watch a scene in the team huddle during the timeout and the Coach will give you some direction as to what he wants you to do once the game resumes.

To further support that, we’ve added dynamic overlays to give you a quick snapshot of the list of goals we want you to achieve. The unique thing about this, is that we have the ability to put you in game winning situations. We will give you goals that direct you to make a specific number of shots, in any given amount of time. If your team is down by 8 points late in the 4th quarter, we will put you in the position to turn the game around. Although you have control over every person on the team, your ultimate goal is to achieve these goals with your created character. This type of experience also extends off the NBA court. The user will experience scenes in a blacktop environment where the action and dialogue become the catalyst for the mini-game right after. These scenes are also accompanied by a dynamic overlay that explains the rules of the game.

What makes The Life stand out as a feature in NBA 09 The Inside is the storytelling and unique way the gamplay relates to that story. The majority of our story scenes take place on a playable court, and dialogue within the scene actually applies to the game you are about to play. In the past loading screens and extra UI pages disrupted this experience. We’ve minimized all of that by loading the scene and game together before the scene is even played, and created dynamic game instruction overlays that appear while the scene is playing. This gives us the ability to enter the game following the story scene seamlessly without any disruptions. The most engaging thing about this experience is that you get to be the hero in games and scenarios partnered with some entertaining cinematics.

You won’t find a cinematic sports experience like this anywhere else. It’s a labor of love for us and we hope you enjoy the unique perspective we are bringing to basketball gaming. Above is a trailer we created that gives a taste of what you can expect with The Life mode. We have two other trailers that we’ll be rolling out over the coming weeks so keep an eye out for them.

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11 Author Replies

  • Can you play basketball with a gun… if not, i wont buy it… SOCOM is what ill be playing

  • Sounds/looks great!

    For a second though I thought it was Life with Playstation. Which was due in July, then delayed to August and last time I checked its.. September? Whatsup with that?

    Sorry to hijack the topic.

  • When you say “live the life of an NBA star” did you include having multiple illegitimate children, drug habits and potential for being arrested multiple times?

  • this game looks bad….the graphics look poor……will not be buying this one

  • a game only for nba fans.

  • thought was life with playstation for a mo,sooo close,get a post 30th september saying pigeon carrying paperwork got killed in

  • this is pretty good for sports fans..

  • Why not make a version that can be played on both the PS3 and the PSP (include the PSP game on the blu-ray disc) and can share the stats?

    Play a few games and enjoy ‘The Life’ on your PS3, plug in your PSP and copy the save game over, and continue your journey while on the subway, at work, or in a car someone else is driving.

    Then, when you get back home after a long day, you plug your PSP back into the PS3, copy the game save data back, and play again on the PS3.

    The next day, you repeat the process.

    Wouldn’t that be the greatest thing?

  • Good work San Diego Studios! Love the concept, graphics need a little work, but if the gameplay is there I might jump on this.

    P.S. Sony I’m loving the new Game covers. Playstation Only, and the Playstation Network adds a cool vibe to the game cover, as well as the Playstation Brand as a whole!

    Good Job,


  • The video looks decent. Please tell me that the players aren’t all super shiny. Does this game support Trophies? When can I pick it up?

  • This needs retitled I got excited when this title showed up on my reader.

    The only “Life” I want is “Life With PlayStation”

    Boring …

  • Sorry these yearly milking of franchises with little to no changes just don’t get my money anymore.

  • Yes the game supports Trophies

  • Yes, the inclusion of “The Life” in the title was quite deceiving. If I were a more paranoid, needy fan I would go so far as to say you were trying to antagonize us. Of course, I’m entirely sure this is not the case as it would truly serve no purpose to do so. Anyway, getting on topic, I like the idea of a storyline. I actually had that idea awhile back, since most sports games center entirely around game after game after game after game, with no real compelling reason to play more. Now if you were to take that a step further and create a Sports-RPG hybrid, I’d be sold. Consider this a pitch for your next game. :P :D

  • Wish Sony never mentioned “Life with Playstation,” that way we wouldn’t have to deal with “if I do not have life with playstation I’m depressed.”

    Well haven’t bought an NBA game since NBA live 2003/4. This game looks interesting but the shiny player effect I do not approve of. More or less trying to find out do we have to worry about disconnects and slow connection during online play or lag because thats the worse in a 20 or 40 minute online game

  • I’m not into sports videogames, but for those who are; this looks good.

  • Game looks good, specially if you like sport games. Good luck with the game

  • Oh, and as for the cover change with the “PlayStation Only,” be careful. While it does look nice, it was incredibly amusing to me when those “X-clusives” ended up in our court but their boxes still claimed they were exclusive. I’d hate to see that come back to bite us too.

  • I thought this was Life with playstation when I read the blog title in my RSS feed. I’m highly disappointed.

  • I’ve been a big 2k nba fan for years now… but I think I’m going to grab NBA 09 this year. Love this “The Life” mode..

  • These companies keep selling us the same game we purchased a year ago, with a few new features that look good in trailers but aren’t even noticed during gameplay.

    I’ll take a big pass on this one.

  • i thought we were going to get a “Life With Playstation” release announcement….you know, that software update you promised would be out 2 months ago?

  • not many sports fans commenting, game looks solid and I’m not quite decided on which of the 3 NBA games to pick up yet. I always have enjoyed the ‘player’ role ever since 2k brought it with it’s 24/7 it’s nice to see someone trying to evolve it a bit more beyond just generics.

  • well the way I see it is that as long as there is casual gamers they will be sport games that recycle every year with little upgrade, take madden for example. if everybody thought the way we think, and felt the way we feel, they would not have a business, or at least it will force them to go a couple of years without it until they had a product that’s worth your money, and you wouldn’t have a pile of sport games in the damn closet.

  • It says in the title, in NBA 09: The Inside.
    You morons need to stop hijacking every damn post with Life for Playstation stupidity.

    Anyway, this looks awesome and I can’t wait to play. I agree with #8, I’d love to see some PSP connectivity. Whether it’s the Franchise mode or The Life, it would be nice to continue my game on the road.

  • 1st Place: NBA 2K9
    2ND Place: NBA Live 09
    3rd Place: NBA 09


  • To this game I’d say thanx but no thanx, sorry dudes

  • With all the graphical wonder MLB 08 the Show presented why does the NBA franchise look just like last years plastic faced effort.

    Graphics attract people to the game. Gameplay keeps them satisfied once they get there. Just like a woman.

  • i don’t think it looks that bad…

  • I still dont understand the need for sports games, when anybody can just walk outside and play them.

  • This seems more like a “Skate” or “Tony Hawk” take on an NBA game and that appeals to me much more than the typical sports games.

  • Lostboy:

    Yah, I often walk outside and find 45 guys eager to play a football game with me.

    And I’m constantly bumping into ice-rinks with guys who are just waiting for me to lace up the skates.

    So I don’t see the need for sport games either…

  • to bad i don’t like basket ball anymore :(

  • i am looking for a new nba street game i have the collection i love the games
    will there be another one

  • lol…I glimpsed the title of this blog post…
    and got excited..
    Life with Playstation News!

    But :(

  • Hijacked!

  • The new features in most “yearly” games would be more appropriate as small-fee DLC. Releasing full-price games that are 95% the same as the year before is just money-gouging at its ugliest.

  • WOW!…I am Speechless….um..ok Here are just a Few Words..”That was Incredible!”
    Definetly NBA09:THE-INSIDE is Gonna Be Sweet To Play this on Blu-ray in a Sony PlayStation 3 …Games Looks Awsome!..can’t wait to Try-it hmm…Wonder if it’s gonna be on the Sony PlayStation Store on PSN (PlayStation Network)also Playing this Online has got to be good

  • Sony makes the best Basketball game as well as the best Baseball game. It is shameful that the industry does not give you enough credit for your work.

  • I thought it was “Life with Playstation” for a second. :(::(:(

  • Glad to see that this game has trophies. Not much of a sport game fan, but will pick it up since it will add trophy support.

  • Did Life with PlayStation die or something? End of July, No August, Wait Maybe September, wait(FLATLINE).

  • Do these games have legends to unlock, like Bird, Jordan, Johnson etc??

    • This year we are not offering the ability to do that. Having said that, we are definitely looking into ways to incorporate that into our product.

  • can’t wait

  • Will there be 7 player support like the 2K series in this iteration?

    • Unfortunately that is not available in our product this year. However, as our features continue to develop we will make steps in effort to accomodate more player support.

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