NBA 2K23: release date, Championship Edition details, when does game come out on Xbox and PS5 - and cover star

If the FIFA titles are video gaming’s most impressive realistic virtual representation of football, then the NBA 2K games serve the same purpose for the sport of basketball.

Featuring all of the real teams, players and arenas seen in the real-life NBA, each annually released game in the franchise tweaks an already solid gameplay foundation while bringing in new features.

Then of course, there’s the amazingly lifelike graphics too.

This year’s release comes in the form of NBA 2K23. But what can basketball fans expect from this latest iteration of the series?

Here is everything you need to know.

What’s new to NBA 2K23?

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Earlier this year, 2K Games announced the latest gameplay updates for NBA 2K23, including new skill moves, animations and player builds that create a more realistic and hyper-real experience.

The addition of shooting attributes is this year’s biggest update, giving each signature jump shot its own distinct shooting stats that help decide its efficacy.

New gesture combinations provide players with even more possibilities for ball handling and shooting in their offensive arsenal, and Adrenaline Boosts are a new feature that helps to prevent overdribbling.

Boosts are depleted whenever a player performs a hard go or an explosive sprint launch, and after their three boosts are depleted, players' speed and acceleration will fall drastically for the remainder of the possession.

(Image: 2K Sports)

New commands for dunks have also been added, guaranteeing that players dunk exactly as they want without accidentally firing off an unexpected skill dunk.

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In terms of defensive gameplay, major upgrades include more realistic on-ball defence and shot blocking, as well as steals and ball strips.

Blocks have been calibrated to a more realistic level this year, resulting in more predictable outcomes, with the correct players making appropriate stops when timing their block efforts well.

Then there are the improvements made behind-the-scenes, with AI ball handling, pick and roll execution, defensive tendencies, and coaching decisions all being improved for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S players.

What’s new in the career mode?

NBA 2K’s MyCAREER career mode has become an integral staple of the series in recent years, centering on the user's created basketball player's career.

Players can customise numerous features of their player, and then play through their NBA career, with key events in the player's career - such as the NBA draft and their retirement ceremony - are depicted.

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This year, NBA 2K23 on next gen consoles (PS5 and Xbox Series X/S) will feature an all-new MyCAREER experience that incorporates the largest and most involved storyline in the franchise’s history.

The story begins after the NBA Draft and pushes athletes to balance their on-court performance with their off-court careers in music, fashion and business. Among a diverse ensemble of characters and cameo appearances.

Who’s on the cover?

Devin Booker - Shooting guard for the Phoenix Suns - is the primary cover athlete for both the standard and Digital Deluxe Editions of NBA 2K23..

To coincide with it being NBA 2K23however, the game will feature Michael Jordan - arguably the most famous ‘23’ in basketball history - on the covers of its Michael Jordan Edition and the “ultra-premium” Championship Edition.

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This year, in addition to Jordan returning to adorn the covers, the game will reintroduce The Jordan Challenge, which invites players to replicate 15 memorable moments from his college, NBA and Team USA Basketball careers.

All 10 of NBA 2K11's original Challenges have been totally rebuilt from the bottom up and will be available to a whole new generation of players, along with five new classic Jordan moments.

The challenges also come with unique video vignettes with special commentary from an array of NBA luminaries, including Jordan's teammates, opponents and other sports personalities.

How much does it cost?

Herea are the prices for each of NBA 2K23’s editions:

EditionPrice
Standard Edition£59.99
Digital Deluxe Edition£74.99
Michael Jordan Edition£89.99
Championship Edition£129.99

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When can I play it?

NBA 2K23 is currently scheduled for release on Friday 9 September for PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.