2K's presentation of NBA 2K9 was short, to say the least. The new executive producer on the game, Jeff Thomas, explained that the game was still in development and many areas still required attention. As a result, 2K is holding off on announcing the new features to this year's game until a later date. What we did see was a short prerendered clip of a Lakers/Celtics game and a few minutes of gameplay by one of the game's producers.
The first thing that was apparent from the clip (and, to a lesser extent, the gameplay demonstration) was that signature player motions don't just stop at shooting this year. Player-specific celebrations and motions will also make their appearance in NBA 2K9. From Kevin Garnett's chest pump following a three-point opportunity to Ray Allen's unique windmill teardrop, 2K9 does a good job of making the motions identifiable to the player. This even includes more subtle motions, such as Derek Fisher's movement coming off a low screen or Kobe Bryant's no-look pass.
Time was also spent enriching the atmosphere of the game in between quarters. After each quarter, the game will show replays of the biggest plays during the period from many cinematic angles--much like you would see while watching a game on television. Even the music during these sequences feels like something out of a TNT broadcast just before they flip to commercials.
The showing also revealed some elements that haven't been touched up (though they may visit these before release). The audio commentary is almost exactly the same as the year before. There are the same awkward pauses and sometimes redundant speech as in last year's game. In fact, the only instance of new commentary we witnessed was when Rondo bricked a free throw. Issues with players missing simple layups also seem to have made the transition from last year's game, but hopefully, these issues are addressed prior to the game's release.
We will continue to bring you additional updates on NBA 2K9 as the 2K team reveals more.