TGS 06: NBA 07 Hands-On

We check out Sony's first party basketball game in all its 1080p glory.

TOKYO--European and American journalists were the recipients of some Japanese hospitality Friday evening courtesy of Sony, which held a press gathering at Sony headquarters in downtown Tokyo after the first day of the Tokyo Game Show. During the evening's events, Sony executive vice president of SCEE Phil Harrison, after unveiling a number of new features of the PlayStation 3 operating system, had one more surprise up his sleeve: NBA 07 for the PS3.

The game, which was under wraps until the party began, is one of the many PS3 games that demonstrate the PS3's 1080p capability and it really is something else to look at. Everything from the shine on the hardwood to the accurately rendered player models has a pristine look to it and the whole floor looks vibrant and alive with hoops action. If you aren't playing NBA 07 in HD, it seems, then you won't really be playing the game, as this is how it was meant to be seen.

Of course, not everything was perfect. Animations, particularly passing and stealing, looked off here and there, and the defensive artificial intelligence had a tendency to immediately and instantly change direction, "school of fish" style, during quick changes in possession; but these are issues that the developer probably still has some time to iron out. One thing that we certainly liked was the inclusion of the color-coded shot system, which remains one of the best features in the series. Whenever you take a shot on the court, a meter shows up above your player--if you let go of the shoot button when the meter is green, you've got a great shot at draining the basket--let it go when it's red or yellow, and you're shooting percentage just went down a few percentile points.

In terms of gameplay, NBA 07 shouldn't be confused with the story-intensive version found on the PlayStation 2 or the PlayStation Portable game, with its focus on minigames. Instead, the PS3 version of NBA 07 seems to be its own beast, with a number of straight-ahead game modes--such as quick game, minigames, and league--along with a few wrinkles that sound exciting.

One of those wrinkles includes NBA Replay mode, which sounds like a lot of fun. Everyone remembers when NBA 07 cover athlete Kobe Bryant went insane last season and dropped 81 on the poor Toronto Raptors. Now, in NBA Replay mode, you'll be able to try and do the very same thing, along with attempting a number of other game scenarios that will challenge not only your shot-making ability, but your overall skills on the court. You'll be scored for how well you perform against the scenario, and the high scores will be posted online via the PS3 network support.

Where NBA Replay mode will surely shine is once the season is under way. Then, Sony plans on taking scenarios from each week of the real NBA Season and translating them into five or six new replay challenges per week, which you can download and try out for yourself. Personally, we can't wait for the "Darko Milicic Drops 50 on Detroit Purely Out of Spite" challenge.

NBA 07 for the PS3 still has a few more weeks left in development, and producers told us they are still nailing down online details at the moment. We do know that the game will support online play in both one-on-one matchups as well as the minigames, but that's as far as we know at this point. We hope to see more of the game in the coming weeks leading up to the launch of the PlayStation 3 in November.

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17 comments
JBcrazy
JBcrazy

It looks great! NBA 2k7 looks good too though. Funny thing is, it's hilarious how these people are putting so much into resolution. 720p is good enough. If you have a TV that's under 50 inches... or even 60 inches. 720p IS good enough. As long as the gaming source is 1080p, and your TV does a good job at scaling down you will not see much of a difference... at sane viewing distances. 1080p is more theortetical until you get to gigantic screens like 65 inches or more.

einsp
einsp

I really didnt see what everyone was so excited about 1080p isnt enough to make spend $600 on sony's new console and there really isnt a that much of a difference between 1080i and 1080p.

FstBrk342
FstBrk342

sweet ill be ballin in full HD

madman1230
madman1230

Basketball my favorit sport Ps: my favorite console basketball+PS=ultimate fun

Ne0zEEd
Ne0zEEd

Eh..wait and see. Sounds nice though.

ralphikari
ralphikari

I really hope they'd consider giving players more coaching options to distinguish themselves from other franchises. The NFL games can do it why can't NBA?

earthking
earthking

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

_Sam_
_Sam_

hope it's good

SolidFear
SolidFear

In the video I've seen, the clothing animations are amazing. It looks better than NBA Live 07, and NBA 2K7. NBA 07 has always been a great basketball game.

GMAN32X
GMAN32X

Hmmm, I'm not so sure about first party Sony sports titles...I'll take a wait and see approach with this. Hopefully it'll be better than Shootout

ravindra889
ravindra889

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Simsdawgy
Simsdawgy

to snapzilla, there is no 360 version it is nba07 by sony for ps3 so i highly doubt they would make a version for the competition. Any videos or screens for this?

snapzilla
snapzilla

"Then, Sony plans on taking scenarios from each week of the real NBA Season and translating them into five or six new replay challenges per week, which you can download and try out for yourself." so i guess this feature will be included in the 360 version as well, hope so

Omegadg2000
Omegadg2000

Amazing, a 3rd player in the NBA game.