As we expected, Electronic Arts is now confirming that the new NBA Jam for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 will be sold on disc at retail. While the game was to originally be included for free with the purchase of NBA Elite 11, with its delay EA is making changes to their strategy with NBA Jam.
From the latest we hear, the game will feature the full NBA Jam release and offer all of the features that the Wii version does with the addition of online play, as well. EA Vancouver is working to quickly get all of the content together so that the title can be released. It is still expected to arrive before the end of the year, but right now EA isn’t confirming a ship date.
The decision to move to a full retail disc release of the new NBA Jam for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 is not without bad news, however. Whispers that we hear seem to indicate that because they are not doing a digital download for this release that the title will likely carry the regular $60 price tag. While some are grumbling that EA might move this price down to $50 before release, we are hearing that right now that is very unlikely.
From the shadows we hear that EA now believes that the title can command the $60 price tag with the addition of all of the content from the Wii version, including the “Remix Tour,” which was originally to be dropped from the title as well as the addition of the online play, which is not in the Wii release. With the delay of NBA Elite 11, it could be that EA needs to maximize as much as they can from the NBA Jam release till they can get NBA Elite out the door.
As for NBA Elite 11, we hear suggestions that it could be delayed as long as the 2011 NBA All Star Game, which is to take place in Los Angeles on February 20th, 2012. Idle talk is that EA might try to use the All Star Game as a launch point for NBA Elite 11 to build interest in the title. While some are suggesting that EA might scrap NBA Elite 11 altogether, sources we have spoken with claim that this is doubtful and actually quite unlikely.