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The war between 2K Sports’ NBA 2K11 and EA Sports’ new NBA Elite 11 is heating up, ladies and gents. Gamers rejoice, for it appears that EA Sports has finally pulled their finger out in the past year or so and have made serious inroads into returning to the past glories that saw the likes of Lakers vs Celtics, Bulls vs Blazers and NBA Live as staples in every NBA fan’s living room.

After years of dominance by EA’s NBA Live franchise, 2K Sports came onto the scene in the early 2000’s, gradually chomping away at Live’s market share and eventually surplanting a franchise that appeared disinterested and sloppy. The product that EA was releasing over the past half-decade of Live titles was considered poor at best and franchise-destroyingly dismal at unfortunate worst. The Playstation and XBox releases were quickly becoming the laughingstock of NBA gamers and the PSP version of Live was flat-out unplayable to the point of even being revoked from distribution by EA at one point.

So it is good to finally see that EA has regained some pride, with a welcome boost to its franchise provided by additional resources being thrown in its direction by boss Peter Moore. Direction from David Littman, the force behind their successful NHL franchise, definitely is a step in the right direction. Last year saw a huge improvement in the franchise, as NBA Live 10 saw a welcome return to favour with the punters, after Mike Wang being poached from 2K for a year paid dividends.

As part of the return to prominence and perhaps in a “fresh coat of paint” approach, the franchise will be renamed as NBA Elite from this season onwards. Whether it lives up to the name will be interesting to see.

Meanwhile, NBA 2K11 will feature Michael Jordan on its cover, in an apparent attempt at slamming a trump card on the table. His Airness will reportedly also be involved in fine-tuning and reviewing the realism of player’s shooting styles and the like, as well as being featured in the game as a playable character. It has been at least seven years since MJ has been available to gamers in this type of sim.

For much more on the upcoming battle between the franchises, check out this great read at kotaku. And look forward to October.

WIN: A copy of NBA 2K11 on PS3 or X360! Enter our contest.

LATEST NEWS UPDATE: NBA Elite 11 release date delayed indefinitely!