After months of rumours, EA Sports confirmed today that NBA Jam won't just be released on the Wii, with high definition versions also on the way for the PS3 and Xbox 360. Warning: some bad news follows.
While the game will technically be coming to the PS3 and 360, it won't be available individually. Instead, it'll be included as a downloadable title (via a code) in $US60 copies of EA's regular basketball title, NBA Elite.
"We're still holding back the Remix Tour for the Wii consumer, and that's about 20 hours of gameplay," EA Sports' Jordan Edelstein tells ESPN. "But for the PS3 and 360, we want people to try 'Elite'. We feel like 'NBA Elite 11' is a great product and we want people to give it a chance and see all the changes we're making. So as a way to say thanks to these people, we are going to let them experience 'Jam'. It's not the full product, but it's a good portion of it.
"And the only way to play 'Jam' on the 360 and PS3 is by picking up 'Elite'. There's a one-time use code that will be in every copy of 'Elite', so you just go online and redeem it. We're not selling 'Jam' on PSN or Xbox Live. If you still want the full product, the full experience is on the Wii, but if you pick up 'Elite', you're still getting a good taste of it, especially with the inclusion of online play."
Way to go, EA. I didn't think it was possible to dampen my enthusiasm for this game, but you pretty much just found a way to do it. Either pay full price for a Wii version that will lack online play, or buy a basketball game I don't want and get a glorified demo of the game I did want.
Then again, since this will both boost sales of NBA Elite and kill the game's re-sale value, it's probably mission accomplished from where they're sitting.