Enjoy six times as much fun with the six-man NBA 09 The Inside cover

I thought “Think Different” was Apple’s old advertising slogan. Well, it seems SCEA has taken a page out of Apple’s book with the box art for their upcoming basketball game, NBA 09 The Inside. That’s right, folks: in the basketball arena, it’s not just EA Sports vs. 2K Sports — Sony’s in-house dev team has been making basketball videogames for a while now.

Anyway, back to the cover: instead of the standard “pick a guy and put him on the cover” shtick, SCEA San Diego (the same folks who brought you MLB 08: The Show) decided that they couldn’t decide on just one man, so the cover artwork for NBA 09 The Inside features the following six NBA stars, in counterclockwise order from top left:

  1. Carlos Boozer
  2. Carmelo Anthony
  3. LeBron James
  4. Paul Pierce
  5. Dwayne Wade
  6. Kobe Bryant

As usual, you can view the full-size cover in the gallery below. Sony has also provided 34 screenshots from the game, and in case you’re wondering why the hell they include shots of a barbershop and a subway, it all comes down to a brand-new mode in this year’s game, The Life. Sports games these days seem to be all about the “life on and off the field/court/ice” career modes, and NBA 09 will be no different. You can guide three different players in The Life; the idea is to navigate them through the gauntlet from the development league to the NBA.

Frankly, I don’t know if NBA 09 will hold up when compared with its competition. I love the TV-style presentation with the NBA on TNT license, but the game just doesn’t look nearly as good as, say, NBA 2K9. Texture detail — especially on bodies and hair — is lacking, but hey…at least it’s in 1080p, right? If you’re still interested, look for NBA 09 The Inside on October 7th for the PS3 and PSP.

[Editor’s note: Here’s a fun tidbit — the e-mail from SCEA actually started off with the greeting “Hello Ballers and Shot Callers.” I kid you not. -Samit]

Samit Sarkar