The headline feature for NBA 2K24 this year, which is admittedly only available in the PS5 version, is ProPLAY. On paper, this sounds a little bit like the new HyperMotion Volumetric technology that’s being added to EA Sports FC this year: in a nutshell, it’s allowing Visual Concepts to create animations based on real-world player movements, as opposed to motion capture performed by random athletes.

A sprawling dev diary digs into all of the advantages of this, but doesn’t explain exactly how it works, although we’d imagine it’s based on similar technology to what EA Sports is touting. The bottom line is that you’ll see more authentic animations across the board, from jump shops to dribble moves and everything in between.

But perhaps the biggest change this year is that 2K Sports is dialling down the difficulty – at least if you’re a more casual player. While the brand attracts a gigantic mainstream audience, NBA 2K has become a daunting proposition, with its timing-based shooting and complex combos. While much of that will still remain during online play, casual modes will allow you to play at a higher level much more intuitively.

There are a ton of other specifics to dig into as part of the game’s first major Courtside Report, including changes to the way Takeovers work – you can now pick any Takeover you think will benefit you during a game, rather than attach a single one to your build – and there are even new coaching options allowing you dig into the Xs and Os deeper than ever before.

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The gameplay trailer embedded above should give you a taste of what to expect from the overall experience. We must admit, aside from the ProPLAY technology, we’re not overly blown away by the changes we’ve been reading about thus far. But as always, the proof will be in the pudding – we’re looking forward to getting stuck in!