NBA Elite 11 delayed; is this the end?

On a day when NBA 2K11 released the above trailer that really flashes a lot of the fun from their upcoming Jordan Moments feature, there was some less-than-positive news coming from EA Sports regarding NBA Elite 11. The release of the game has been delayed to an undetermined time.

The details from IGN:

“EA Sports has decided to delay next month’s launch of NBA Elite 11. NBA Jam will launch on the Wii on October 5; we’re also now going to ship NBA Jam as a standalone product on the Xbox 360 and PS3 in time for the holidays,” a spokesperson told IGN.

“We set ambitious goals for NBA Elite, and we are creating a game that will introduce several breakthrough features that have been missing from the basketball genre. We are going to keep working until we’re certain we can deliver a breakthrough basketball experience.”

“We feel this is in the best interest of our consumers, our company and our shareholders.”

Obviously a lot to take away from this one statement. The fact that NBA Elite 11 is being delayed might not be the worst thing in the world. Some of the glitches found in demo gameplay were pretty awful. The hook shot exploit. The glitch that can only be described as “The Passion of Andrew Bynum.” Whatever the heck this dribble glitch is. It hasn’t been pretty.

There’s also the news that NBA Jam will be made available for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 as a standalone title. This hadn’t been announced until this point, but I never believed it would only come as a standalone title on the Wii. I always assumed they were keeping the PS3/Xbox 360 plans under wraps as a way of buoying sales for Elite.

Now the question remains what kind of future Elite, in its first year of being rebranded, really has. By coming out later than 2K11 and not having the allure of NBA Jam exclusivity, the market could be bone-dry, even if EA Sports only comes to shelves one week late.

I certainly hope the game comes to market, because there were parts of the game that intrigued me. They really looked like they were getting closer to eliminating that “playing on skates” feeling, which is just the worst in basketball titles.

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