It's early days in the great next gen console war, and the commercial reality of development is very simple - the cost of making games on more advanced hardware has skyrocketed meaning that publishers get the best returns from their investment with multiformat development. Eurogamer typically reviews these games on the lead platform (more often than not, the Xbox 360) but we've got plenty of love for the PlayStation 3 - enough to bring you the all-important info on any differences between the versions, even when review code arrives somewhat belatedly.
In comparing the games we concentrate first and foremost on the gameplay experience, with objective commentary on new game modes and control methods that have been added or tweaked since the initial review. And as there is such a large cost difference between the two gaming platforms, we think it's fair game to point out any differences between versions on a technical level too. This makes these ongoing features as much a commentary on cross-platform development as they are aiding in a purchasing decision.
Complementing each piece is a series of screenshot galleries at full HD resolution 24-bit RGB using the PS3's HDMI digital output and the Xbox 360's precision VGA display mode, both professionally calibrated and captured losslessly using state-of-the-art grabbing equipment - indeed the only kit available that can handle full colour-depth and 1080p when required. Console analists can then debate the minutiae we expose and exercise the full unbridled talkback POWER of the Internet to give voice to their thunderous displeasure.
Whoopsy daisy. Looks like somebody didn't tell 2K Sports about the PlayStation 3's loss of vibration until too late. Either that or one of the copy writers was having a bad day, because a poster on the official PlayStation message boards has unearthed a page of NBA 2K7's PS3 manual that highlights its support for, er, pad vibration.
Why are yearly updates a good idea? Because content just swells on those discs. A game like NBA 2K7 couldn't be where it is today - at the top of the heap - without years of tweaks, refinements, tinkering, mistakes, polish and hard graft. It's difficult to know where to start with NBA 2K7 because there's so much of it. Seasons, tournaments, single games, franchise mode and a fat online offering easily make it the most comprehensive basketball title on next-gen, laughing off any semi-pro challenge that comes from EA's NBA Live effort. 2K Games' b-ball title is the shit.
If you're comfortable with 2K's basketball offerings, and I'll assume you are, then much of NBA 2K7 feels familiar. That's welcomely familiar, not oh-no-not-you-again familiar. The biggest tweak is the offensive controls, which make efficient use of triggers and right analogue stick. The transition from dribbling to dunks is smooth, and once a player is inside the key it's easy to unleash a varied and stylish attack at the basket. In defence, these same control combinations are used to block and swat the ball, and again, control flows off the fingers without ever feeling clumsy or a fluke.
24/7: Next mode is basically a streetball game with lots of two-on-two matches and moves you won't see in the real NBA. So effectively, you've got your own little version of NBA Street, where your self-created player earns himself a rep on the parking lots and concrete courts, with encouragement from a little entourage. There might be an added story, but it's not as wanky as it sounds. You learn new moves by defeating you opponents in tough challenges, and if you've got game you'll earn the right to go up against all time greats like Dr. J and Larry Bird. What it is, is a different enough game of basketball to the real NBA sessions. It's almost arcade-lite, something that's worth playing and feels like developer Visual Concepts is right to continue to grow as part of the game.
I will now attempt to write about a basketball game! 2K Sports' upcoming PlayStation 3 version of NBA 2K7 (due out next March, obviously) will introduce the ability to shoot from the free-throw line using the "Sixaxis" controller's tilt sensor functionality. Altogether: ooooh!