NBA 2K11 for PS3: Michael Jordan, PlayStation Move Details, and Much More

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Hi guys! Ronnie here from 2K Sports. I am the Community Manager here and the point person for our fans. Have feedback on a feature for NBA 2K11? Want to get an idea in the game? You have my ear and can always reach me on Twitter. Drop me a line anytime!

You probably remember me from my PlayStation.Blog posts on NBA 2K10 last year. This year, we decided to blow all the doors off and introduce MICHAEL JORDAN to the 2K Sports family as the cover athlete for NBA 2K11 (in stores everywhere 10/5/2010). Like most of you basketball fans, Michael Jordan is my idol and synonymous with basketball greatness. You can read about how you will get the chance to relive his career in 10 of his most iconic games in The Jordan Challenge.

Michael Jordan in NBA 2K11 for PS3 and PlayStation Move

In MJ: Creating a Legend, you can put Michael Jordan on any modern team you want! Kobe and MJ on the Lakers? Teaming him with Wade and LeBron on the Heat? Putting him on the current Bulls with my buddy Derrick Rose? You can build his abilities (the killer instinct that came later in his career over his always brilliant athletic ability) as well as the chemistry with that team in this mode.

But NBA 2K11 also has an exclusive PS3-related feature and that is, of course, the use of the PlayStation Move motion controller. Recently, I got the chance to interview one of our engineers, Mark Horsley, to provide some exclusive info to those that follow the PlayStation Blog. Mark was influential in getting this feature to be a thing of beauty for the game and in no other game is PlayStation Move as fitting. After Mark gives you some background on the use of PlayStation Move, I will share some other features to be unveiled in NBA 2K11. So without further ado, here are highlights from our conversation:

Slam Dunk Contest with PlayStation Move

Mark Horsley, Gameplay Engineer, NBA 2K11: It was critical for us to showcase the full range of abilities of the PlayStation Move motion controller, so we started with the Slam Dunk Contest. The dunk contest input interface was significantly revamped for PlayStation Move, allowing the ability to pull off dunks much easier than in years past. When you get your hands on this mode with the PlayStation Move, start by pulling and holding the T button to pick up a ball from the ball rack. As your player runs towards the basket, start the gestures for the dunk you wish to perform. For analog-stick-based controllers, the input is done by twirling the stick. The stick commands translated naturally to gestures using the Move controller. A counter-clockwise circle on the stick translates to moving your hand in a counter-clockwise circle, and similarly translates for other commands. By completing a gesture while running towards the basket, and then quickly completing another gesture prior to takeoff, you choose which dunk you wish to perform. To complete the dunk, simply release the T button to time the release of the ball. Props are placed on the court by pressing the Triangle button on the Move controller, just like in years past with the standard controllers.

NBA 2K11 for PS3 and PlayStation Move

Gameplay with PlayStation Move

For regular gameplay, we started with the single most important aspect in basketball: shooting. Our goal was for fast, responsive shooting, with no lag. All of the different types of jumps are in there: drifters, leaners, and fade-aways. Based on how your player is moving, simply flick the PlayStation Move motion controller up and you’ll spot up and shoot the appropriate jump shot. Similar controls are done for dunks and layups. Running towards the basket while holding the T button results in a dunk, as opposed to a layup if the T button isn’t pulled. Unlike the analog-stick-based controllers, you get flashy or power moves based on what is happening. Kobe running free on a breakaway? Pull up on the Move controller and witness an amazing flashy dunk. Garnett in the paint? Flick the PlayStation Move motion controller up and unleash a crushing dunk.

Here is the breakdown in more detail:

With the T button pulled, flick the PlayStation Move…

  • Up = Smart Dunk
  • Right = Power Dunk
  • Left = Flashy Dunk
  • Down = Reverse Dunk

Without pulling the T button, flick the PlayStation Move…

  • Up = Smart Layup
  • Right = Hop Step Layup Right
  • Left = Hop Step Layup Left
  • Down = Spin Layup

For Passing, we wanted to make sure the gesture was as intuitive as possible for the sophistication of the PlayStation Move motion controller. Pressing the large Move button, in conjunction with pressing the left stick in the direction of the intended receiver, will result in a quick pass. Holding both L2 and the T button while passing will throw a devastating alley-oop pass. You will find that passing is quick and accurate with this method.

NBA 2K11 for PS3 and PlayStation Move

Dribbling using the PlayStation Move falls into two categories: standing and moving. Holding the L2 button, flick the PlayStation Move to perform many different dribble moves to blow past a defender. If standing, you will receive a variety of Sizeup moves, based on the direction of the motion. If dribbling, here is breakdown:

While dribbling towards the basket, hold L2 and Flick the PlayStation Move…

  • Up = Behind-the-back dribble move
  • Right = Crossover if ball is in right hand, an In-n-Out Move if ball is in left hand
  • Left = Crossover if ball is in left hand, an In-n-Out Move if ball is in right hand
  • Down = Stepback

Successful defense relies on quick, decisive action, and so the PlayStation Move defensive controls were designed for quick, simple motions. Flick the PlayStation Move up for a block; flick it right or left for a steal. Player swap is an important aspect of defense, and the Move button is perfectly positioned for this. Setting a pick is assigned to the Circle button: it’s easy to access but not something that you’ll press by accident, making it perfect for picks.

I want to thank Mark Horsley for taking the time out of an insane amount of game engineering to give us insight on how to get the most out of using the PlayStation Move motion controller. I gave it a whirl last week and I had a great time playing with PlayStation Move. It worked smoothly and seemed to do whatever I wanted it to in the game.

Now I do want to mention a few other features that are making waves in the gaming industry. I discussed the use of Michael Jordan in our game at the beginning of the blog and there are many features (a few still undiscussed) that will be a great showcase for the world’s best player. In the meantime, here are some other things to look out for when the game hits stores October 5th (make sure to click the links for even more information):

NBA 2K11 for PS3 and PlayStation Move

My Career Mode – Live the entire life of an NBA star. Get drafted into the NBA, fight for a roster spot, work to get minutes, fit into the team, and emerge as a starter, perhaps even a player that will go down as one of the greats. This year, however, your accolades go beyond the court. Participate in Press Conferences, sign Endorsements, be on the cover of magazines, and create Signature Shoes that can be worn as kicks by other players in the league.

Historic Chicago Bulls Teams – Ever wondered how the Lakers of today might fare against the Michael Jordan led Chicago Bulls? Get the chance to play as some of the greatest teams in NBA history like the 1985-86, 1989-90, 1990-91, 1991-92, 1994-95, 1995-96, 1996-97, and 1997-98 Chicago Bulls squads. These teams along with several other historic teams, are put at your fingertips in Quick Game mode.

ALL-NEW IsoMotion Dribbling Controls and Shot Control – Delivering the most realistic feeling and reacting dribbling system to date with seamless transitions between ankle breaking moves coupled with an all-new gesturing system allows users to intuitively translate thought to motion and dominate, like Michael Jordan, from the perimeter to the paint. Take your offensive game to the next level with an unprecedented amount of control via the enhanced Shot Stick. Dozens of new shot types, from layups to jumpshots to dunks and everything in between, are completely under the user’s control with the flick of a stick. The new Shot Branching system also allows the adjustment of shots on the fly in mid-air.

Look for more news soon about great enhancements coming to other core features like Online Mode, Blacktop, Association mode, as well as one of my favorite modes from last year, NBA Today. In this mode, audio was given context to real-world NBA happenings. All of these features packed along with the NBA 2K realistic simulation that you all love.

Well, I have probably gone on way past my time! I want to thank the people at PlayStation for giving me this time to tell you about NBA 2K11. Let me remind you to follow us on Facebook to see what’s the most new and exclusive info on the NBA 2K Franchise. As an added treat for you Sony fans, I would like to announce that the demo release date will be announced on the FB page tomorrow! So look forward to that! Until then, feel free to drop me a line below or on Twitter and I’ll do my best to get back to you ASAP. Thanks for reading!

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