EA Sports has confirmed that, with the delay of NBA Elite 11, the PS3 and Xbox 360 editions of the new NBA Jam will be given a full disc release. NBA Jam was originally to be included with NBA Elite 11 as a free digital download.
EA Sports president Peter Moore commented on the new plan of release for the re-imagining of the famous arcade basketball game.
"We're going to ship NBA Jam as a standalone product on the Xbox 360 and PS3 in time for the holidays. Watch for more news soon on the exact timing of that release."
It is seems as though EA Sports is trying to fill the gap left by NBA Elite 11's delay by taking advantage of the nostalgic potential in the full release of NBA Jam. The Wii version of NBA Jam costs $49.99, and the company plans to pack the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions with much of the content of the Wii version. The game's price point for the PS3 and Xbox 360 will be at least as much as it is for the Wii, and may be the standard $59.99 of new releases on those consoles. With Wii lacking online multiplayer and high defintion presentation, the higher price point seems more likely.
Rather than competing directly with NBA 2K11, EA Sports is catering to a more casual sports gamer. Bringing the magic of the classic NBA Jam franchise to a new generation has the potential to be successful. Trying to attach it to NBA Elite 11 was a move that wasn't met with the greatest of acclaim. On its own merits, the new NBA Jam could find much success on the two more powerful consoles, especially during the holiday season. However, some gamers may find it hard to justify paying $60 for just NBA Jam.
How much you are willing to pay for a game is directly proportional to how badly you want it. The thought of going back to NBA Jam's classic arcade basketball gameplay is appealing to all of those who were fans of the original. But, after being told it would come as a free digital download, it will be a large shift to now expect to pay full price for it. Only time will tell how successful the disc release will be.
NBA Jam is available now for the Nintendo Wii. The Xbox 360 and PS3 editions of the game are expected to ship in time for the holidays.