E3 2008: NBA Live 09 Impressions

EA shows off the new dynamic DNA player-tendencies system in its upcoming basketball game.

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Every player in the NBA has his tendencies. Some prefer to take a shot at the top of the key, some prefer to post up. Some like to handle the ball on a pick and roll, others like to do the rolling. Of course, tendencies change throughout the season--new coaches, new teammates, player injuries, or just a few of the myriad things that can change throughout the season, causing individual players and teams alike to adjust over the course of the season. While sports video games have long claimed to mimic real-life player tendencies, EA Sports' upcoming NBA Live 09 is looking to take that to the next level with daily, yes you read that correctly, daily updates for player tendencies during the NBA season.

Unveiled today during the EA Sports segment of today's EA press conference, the Dynamic DNA feature (as it's known) looks to accurately gauge the way players and teams change throughout the season. Based off of technology from Synergy Sports, a premiere sports analytics company, the Dynamic DNA feature will download new player data daily across a number of different player tendencies: isolation, pick-and-roll ball handler, pick-and-roll roll man, post up, spot man, off-ball screen, and cuts, as well as such tendencies as how often the player moves left or right when facing off with a defender.

This kind of information will show up onscreen in player profiles, with numbers associated with each aspect of a player's game. If a player has a high tendency to post up, you'll see a big number in that category; if he never plays the off-ball screen, you'll see a zero (or at least a very low number) in that section. In addition, just as teams are groups of individuals, teams in NBA Live 09 will develop their own team tendencies based on the DNA of their players. If you add in a new player to the mix (think of Pau Gasol going from Memphis to Los Angeles), the chemistry of that team will change accordingly. The system seems to be built off the hot spot system that was in last year's game--indicating the areas on the floor where a particular player is hot. It's currently unclear whether the system will take into consideration player tendencies--or rather "reset" the data with daily player updates.

Where player tendencies should have the biggest impact will be in play calling. Depending on what player you're controlling at any given moment, you'll have a number of different plays to call. To bring up the play-calling screen, you press the left bumper; a small menu will then pop up showing four plays available to you, along with an associated DNA tendency number indicating the chances for success when calling that play with that particular player. For instance, when controlling Kevin Garnett during the demo, the player had four options: Pierce, isolation (Y button); Garnett, post up (X button); Allen, off-ball screen (B button); and Allen, get open (A button). The best option, based on the DNA percentage number associated with the play call was the Garnett post up; the demo player called the play and managed to put the ball home with KG.

While the dynamic DNA system was the focus of today's presentation, it's far from the only feature to be found in NBA Live 09. The game will include a new pick-and-roll control system that will help you control the ball screener and the ball handler on pick and rolls; an NBA rewind feature, where you can replay recent games with updated statistical data; a basketball version of the Be a Pro mode found in last year's FIFA 08 and this year's NHL 09; better defensive controls; and online custom leagues, with drafting trades and a single-elimination playoff system. We look forward to taking all of these features for a spin--and getting a better look at the Dynamic DNA system--in the near future, as our coverage of NBA Live 09 continues throughout the summer.

Discussion

39 comments
aass9900
aass9900

2K9 IS CRAP.POOR GRAPHICS.BIG BODYS AND LITTLE FACES.UNREAL.LIVE HAS DNA,USA TEAM,SLAM DUNK 3 POINT COMP.AND THE GRAPHICS ARE PRETTY GOOD.AND THEY DO THERE REAL SHOTS AND MOVES.ALL WORTH YOUR MONEY.

edub272
edub272

DNA? theyre making a bigger deal outta this than people will actually notice, guaranteed

milosc
milosc

jhuuueee, you are talking crap man! Game is realistic and dna feature is fantastic! It's so popular that EA put it into FIFA09 and renamed it into ADIDAS Live season!

jhuuueee
jhuuueee

DNA Feature is so stupid. We want better game action in the court. Remove those brutal dunks and make the game more realistic.

jhuuueee
jhuuueee

DNA Feature is so stupid. We want better game action in the court. Remove those brutal dunks and make the game more realistic.

Mist00
Mist00

my question is will ea charge for the DNA feature

GuanLee
GuanLee

Live is making a ressurection.

fozzyruler
fozzyruler

well I think that live 09 will be awesome this year because it is really put up or shut up time for ea sports they are coming back dude I am tell yeah.

jhuuueee
jhuuueee

nba live games are always not good since 06.

david1233
david1233

My first ever NBA game was live 08 and I didn't like it so i don't think this will be that good

white_jaguar
white_jaguar

I have always been an nba live fan, but 2k8 is pretty fun. I think it is still way too easy to dunk in basketball games. especially 2k8. guys like dwight howard , stoudamire, and lebron can dunk like every play, and that is pretty fake to me. They are all amazing dunkers but it happens way too often and easily IMO.

DeltaCobra
DeltaCobra

way too complicated to be worthwhile.. Just make the game good.

EGoodlife
EGoodlife

until now the graphics of NBA 2K9 it´s way better from the images i saw...

SolidSnake2506
SolidSnake2506

H0pe this one will match the level of gameplay and graphics of NBA2K, but I think 2K series still rocks.....................

Supaman625
Supaman625

Sounds good and all but how will it playout cuz nba live is known for fun features but the leave you empty butthe DNA sounds nice enough to check it out

itwiz90
itwiz90

I'll be renting basketball sims games to check out the interface and game-play. I do have NBA Live in my PS2 Library.

grambyte
grambyte

every nba game improved a bit, so maybe this will work out great

rsoxguy12
rsoxguy12

i may skip this nba live because be a pro mode isnt for a season..its just one exhibition game

CMakaCreative
CMakaCreative

I wonder if there will even be competition between 2k9 & Live 09 if EA buys out T2. Will EA release two basketball games? I doubt it.

SouperTrooper
SouperTrooper

all im looking for is better gameplay in live 09. the dna and other features sound awesome...2k is way behind in this area...but 2k has been way ahead as far as gameplay. hopefully live 09 will not waste all of these awesome features and graphics with another year of bad gameplay...

nalathegreat
nalathegreat

my last game was 2k7, but i played 2k8 and that was a pretty good game. Live 09 looks like it will overwhelm 2k9 with this DNA system, but Live have the Slam Dunk Contest and Three Point Shootout?

geezy31
geezy31

This is going to be the best Live on the 360, finally.

jdr589
jdr589

i think Live 09 will excel past 2k sports series of basketball games... Even if Tony Parker is on the cover wuh wuh wuhhhhh

Chris-Brown
Chris-Brown

this seems promising, last year 2k8 edge out live but live has been taking steps forward ever year and it may eventually pass 2k up, but then again we know little about the 2k series thus far. It will be interesting to see how this all pans out

TwiztedMetal
TwiztedMetal

Im with you moon the last one i played was 2k as well haha!

CRONALDOisGOD
CRONALDOisGOD

they can not put kobe. they won't. coz 2k got garnett. and having kobe against garnett would be more like the nba finals which we all know, kobe lost. haha. EA is not that stupid.

Cube_of_MooN
Cube_of_MooN

I haven't played a NBA Live game since NBA Live 2000, maybe its time to try a new one! :lol:

km1498
km1498

Nice idea, I'll be keeping this on my watch list to see how it turns out.

kungfuj0
kungfuj0

Live 08 was a DECENT game. I just hope that they continue taking forward steps with the series with 09. The Dynamic DNA thing sounds cool and all, but there are issues with the core of the game that need to be fixed once and for all, before other, extra things like that are added. Fix the foundation first, EA, then build on top of it.

jubba910
jubba910

live 09 is the game this year!!!

thisisasignin
thisisasignin

@playstation_wii: They never put athletes of high caliber on the covers.

jakeboudville
jakeboudville

Impressive. I think it could work if they play their cards right this time

Neosword
Neosword

Could work well. Usually only play these sort of games at others houses, but this might be worth a look.

carstairs
carstairs

This is an interesting feature. If it works well, it'll be great.