Electronic Arts has revealed that their long running NBA Live franchise will be rebranded and retooled, starting with the newly announced NBA Elite 11.
“We plan to profoundly evolve the interactive basketball experience in a way that the category has not seen for a decade,” EA Sports president Peter Moore said in a statement. “In NBA Elite 11, we’ll introduce a gameplay experience that gives fans the control on the court that they have been begging for in a basketball game for years.”
The newly minted franchise “reboot” of sorts will include a host of improvements and innovations designed specifically to provide players with more control over every aspect of the on-court action. The game will introduce a “hands-on control” scheme that will allow “one-to-one responsiveness” while dribbling, shooting, and playing defense.
“This is the first basketball simulation video game where you are controlling every movement, dribble move, shot, dunk, lay-up, steal and block in real time with one-to-one control,” said NBA Elite 11’s creative director David Littman. “You’re no longer going to push a button and watch the computer generate a long animation sequence. It is like being on a basketball court with an amazing set of skills. This is going to change what people have come to expect from a basketball simulation video game.”
Am I just plain crazy for suggesting that this sounds like the game might include Project Natal/PlayStation Move support? I mean, when someone says “one-to-one responsiveness” and that you don’t have to press buttons to control the game, the first thing I think of are motion controls. EA Sports also has motion-control experience thanks to their Tiger Woods PGA Tour games for Wii. It’s also rather interesting that NBA Elite 11 is currently only slated to be released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in October. Natal and Move still don’t have firm release dates, but they are expected to be released around the end of the year too, so I guess we’ll see.
I contacted EA to see if I’m barking up the wrong motion-controlled tree here. If they feel like opening up to me, I’ll definitely let you know. If anything we’ll certainly find out more about NBA Elite 11 at E3 in a few weeks.