Gamers who were on the fence as to whether or not to purchase EA's NBA Elite 11 got an extra incentive today, as EA announced that new copies of the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game will come with a download code for three modes of NBA Jam. Conversely, gamers who were super-excited about the Xbox 360 and PS3 releases of NBA Jam just found out they'll have to spend $60 on a game they didn't necessarily want to get a limited version of the game that they do, because buying NBA Elite 11 is the ONLY way to get NBA Jam for the PS3 or 360.
The three modes available will be Play Now, Classic Campaign, and Online, so players will likely be able to square off against classic players like Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Dennis Rodman, as well as play against online opponents on Xbox Live or the PSN. The only mode that seems to be missing is the Remix Tour, which features new camera angles, power-ups, and boss battles.
I've been a supporter of EA's "Project $10," but I'm not 100% sure about this incentive plan. There are a lot of people out there who would have gladly paid $30-$40 for NBA Jam as a standalone title, but have no interest in NBA Elite 11. Likewise, players who have a Wii and an HD console may shy away from the Wii version of NBA Jam, opting to buy NBA Elite 11 and download the abridged version. Regardless, it certainly doesn't make the Wii version, which will likely cost $50, any more attractive. Personally, I'm still undecided as to whether or not to buy EA's hoops sim this year. NBA 2K10 was excellent, and this year's offering from 2K will inlude Michael Jordan. EA has a long way to go if they want to catch up, but Elite does look interesting, with its all new control scheme and physics engine. While the inclusion of a truncated version of Jam doesn't completely sway me, it doesn't hurt, either.