While the Lakers and Celtics were wrapping up the NBA Finals, the E3 Expo was taking place in Los Angeles. The big news coming out of there? According to Kotaku, there will be two really good NBA video games to choose from this year: “Last year, both games were the closest they’ve been, in critical reception, since 2004, although NBA 2K thoroughly dominated at the cash register. EA Sports retrenched with a name change to its franchise and a remade, skill-based control set. 2K Sports brought aboard no less than Michael Jordan as its cover athlete, and will make him a playable athlete for the first time in seven years. And both had a very quiet demonstration in Los Angeles, with EA giving only a behind-closed-doors hands-on with Elite, and 2K Sports showing only an eyes-on demonstration that focused largely on the game’s visual polish…[David] Littman himself has invoked NHL and FIFA as aspirational models, obliquely saying it’s time for video game basketball to get there, too. They’ve placed a renewed focus on gameplay and enabling gamers to have even more control over their individual players’ movements, no small goal with 10 guys on the floor in a constantly moving sport with a constantly contested objective. That’s what EA Sports hopes to do. The 2K Sports team in Novato, Calif. is tremendously proud of what it has achieved with NBA 2K, and what it gets to build on for the coming title. In one of the few head-to-head battles left, 2K’s basketball franchise has put it on the chin of EA every year in this console generation, something no other sports publisher can claim. This is a very personal rivalry for them. You’d better believe that both the leaked news of Michael Jordan going on the 2K11 cover, and the timing of the formal announcement, coming in the same weeks NBA Elite was teasing and confirming its own makeover, was meant to wipe its competition from memory.”
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