Playstation PS1 NBA 2Ball

I`m glad to finally see one of these go up for an open sale, as I was actually one of the first people to locate a copy of this disc. More on that in a second.

NBA 2Ball is one of the rarest PS1 Demo CDs out there. While in theory there was a reasonable amount of them produced, very few have surfaced. Part of this is the way they were made available

Jason aka Dangerboy of is one of the de factor PS1 collectors out there, not only owning a complete collection, but attempting to document and obtain every possible variant that was released. Here`s what he has to say on the game:

Rumors of this game began somewhere around the time he had achieved the complete PSX retail library of full games; and was just starting on the demos, Lightspan, and variants.

From interviews with the programmer, it appears that the game was given away as a promotional item at the 1998 All-Star game. No word on if it was to attendees, players, staff, etc – just that it was given out. There is currently no concept of how many were printed; most likely it would have been a a small print run. Current theories point to whatever the absolute minimum Sony would have allowed at the time, probably somewhere between 500 to 1000. Sadly, Sony does not share distribution numbers.

Eventually one would rise up in Canada, of all places. Cue a few random encounters and incidents later, and one my best friends and fellow collector’s would end up sending it to me as a Best Man’s gift. Besides ruining any future gifts I’d get for such duties, a known issue with the disc deepened the mystery – it was cracked in one quadrant, with a smaller crack peeking out from the original.

This was actually the copy I found at my local flea market. Sad part is, I have a feeling it wasn`t cracked when I bought it (for $0.50), but it somehow happened during one of my many moves. At the time I had no idea what it was, and it was treated like a crappy worthless PS1 demo.

At some point, I saw a post on DP that DB was looking for it. I swore that I had a copy, and after much searching, I was right. Being the only confirmed copy aside from the one owned by the programmer at the time, I wasn`t interested in selling it. A year or two later I decided I was willing to part with it for the right price. After a $500 BIN Or Best Offer eBay auction with no bites, I sold it privately for an amount that was admittedly overpriced for a cracked cd.

Initial tests with the demo disc proved fruitless – it would simply hang at the Sony boot screen. Not even swapping the discs using the original Import Game trick worked. So with nothing working on the legitimate side, it was theorized that maybe a CDR of the disc could work, using an ISO checking program to possibly fix any errors. The reason for this is that the data can be clearly seen on the topside of the disc. The crack had not reached that portion yet.

Upon placing the disc in my original computer’s CD-drive, I opened up Explorer, only seconds later to hear the most gut wrenching, heart stopping, soul crushing sound I ever heard. The speed of the CD-Rom drive caused the disc to rip itself apart. I now had a demo disc in 2 pieces, not 1. A lot of alcohol was consumed that night. Trust me.

Eventually a lucky break occurred – I was able to contact the original programmer across the globe, and after a lot of e-mails, humor, and drama, an ISO was finally presented.

Sadly, with realization of the Swap Trick working for our ISO, we went back to the real disc and tried the swap trick. Sure enough the game hung at the boot screen. Which means there is still only one known working copy in the world.

One thing that DB hasn’t updated on his page, nor most of the recent articles have mentioned, is that he actually (and recently) managed to secure a SEALED copy of the game.

Because of the concern with the game actually being playable, he decided to open it. Check out the videos he posted on YouTube below.

So what is the demo itself?

NBA 2 Ball is a mini-game that was popular around the time of its release, and has actually been featured in some newer games. Game play is as follows: Two players take alternate shots from specific points on the basketball half court. You are required to shoot from at least three of the six locations, plus have the option of lay-ups. One minute is all you are allowed, and at the end of play the team with the most points wins.

The game engine is taken from the PlayStation / Saturn release NBA Jam Extreme. Interestingly, many of the game’s elements are still present in the demo. The most obvious being the ball’s physical properties: if you happen to ‘brick’ a shot, the basketball will actually become a giant spinning brick until picked up again. The court has been cut off at the half-way point, with any signs of team specific marks removed. The 2 Ball number locations have been added to the floor, as well as the logo at half court.

All 29 teams are represented, and each team has 3 playable members. All name entry and other menus have been removed from the source, so this is literally just a 2 Ball game.

Several announcer clips still remain from Extreme. Oddly enough, there’s only one song or background track in the entire game. It plays at the beginning title screen, and then acts as the timer music in game.

Control is probably the demo’s only real downfall, all things considered. It doesn’t support Analog, so trying to get the players into position can sometimes be harder then it should be. In NBA 2 Ball, the game is only 2 Players, so for this review I basically played by myself alternating controllers, hence why the video looks goofy. It also doesn’t help that I suck at sports games. 🙂

Once the 60 seconds are over, you are shown the score, and can simply restart the game. That’s all there really is to it.

Anyways, the current seller came across an old article and realized he had a copy of the game. Since then, it has got press on a variety of sites, and at least one other person has realized they also have a copy in their possession. Similar to what has happened lately with several other high profile games, all this press will definitely build the hype (and price) and help to bring more copies out of the woodwork.

Auction here.

Already at $500 with seven days to go. With the love of rare games lately, this could break a grand easily, or even surprise me totally. It’s good timing too, as PS1 collecting is just starting to hit its stride. Plus, technically this might be the rare variant of the rare game. The white case being given out as a prize as opposed to the regular black case. Then again, the black copy could be the rare variant!


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  1. So funny thing – that ‘white sleeve’ isn’t a “prize version”. It was either the first printing and the black sleeve was simply the improved 2nd print, or the black sleeve was the first print and the white sleeve was the “oh shit we fucked up” quickie print.

    I can already prove the white sleeve is a “quick fix” of the two, but the evidence will stay quiet for now. The important question, and only other question besides print run, would be which came first.

    I have a sneaking suspicion it’s going to be a maniacal answer.

  2. lol. Cool info DB. Question, where do you think this will head price wise? And you have my sympathy for a variant being this expensive.

  3. At this point price speculation is worthless – there’s a 1 feedback bidder chucking $100 increments at it. This auction was void from the start, too much publicity was involved with it (especially the guys own ‘staring role’ in the auction video).

    The bigger problem is that the starting price came from my own bounties. The sealed new copy I have was $300 + shipping. Now that personal demand (I’ve offered $50 for relatively common demos just get them off the need list) has been exploited, AGAIN, and its just going to be a roller coaster off the rails train wreck when this is all said and done.

    I’ll be amazed if a)the winning bidder pays b) I’m *not* emailed and offered a selling price double the amount.

    I’m going no where near that auction.

    …and I really need to update my site.

  4. I was thinking the same about a non paying bidder. We`ll end up with the sealed Stadium Events all over again, though hopefully not even a fraction of that price.

    With this and the Assassins Case debacle, being the `de facto` PS1 collector has it`s downsides.


  5. Here’s the situation. The 1 Feedback bidder has now tossed 2 $100 bids and 1 $50 bid.

    The 3rd bidder (with a justifiable feedback) is currently now the high one.

    I’m calling a 2nd $50 bid from Mr. 1 Feedback within the next 24 hours to artificially inflate the price.


  6. How is GameRave inflating the price? At no point has DB EVER gone and shill bid, tried to raise the value of his stuff or anything of that nature. He isn’t going about this in a manner of lets make this stuff sell for more. He’s trying to get this one for his personal collection.

    I bought the broken copy off of Link and though it was ‘too much’ it got DB the copy and started the ball rolling on this silly game.

  7. DB (Game-Rave) definitely has no interest in artificially raising prices. If I know DB (and I do), than he wants this case as well – which means higher prices completely suck for him. Since it`s doubtful he`ll sell his PS1 collection any time soon, there`s no benefit there either.

    I`m not sure if we`re reading your question right however. Do you mean the writeup is overvaluing the game, or something like that?

  8. I meant because the website initially claimed it was a priceless treasure (not in so many words) that now people think that’s fact. If gamerave didn’t post an article about how priceless this game is and that a cracked CD version is worth $300, then I bet this auction would have sold for a lot less and gone unnoticed (except for a few collectors).

    I didn’t think the website was shill bidding, but now that you bring it up, maybe they could have to make their copy worth more?

    • Again, I (me, PapaStu) bought the broken copy for Dangerboy. He didn’t pay a dime for that one. That one, for almost 2 years was the only copy known in collectors hands save for the sealed one in the ownership of the guy who made the game. At that point, we’d been hunting for the game for almost 4 years when Link decided to sell the copy to me.

      I don’t see the article as doing anything but bringing to light how damn hard it is to find and to break down the game.

      At no point did he ever ‘value’ that one at anything remotely close to $300 dollars. Try re-reading the site, he never even puts a price on it in his article. He never knew what I paid for it. Kind of tacky to do that with a gift. However what he did do, was put a bounty up on the game, and that bounty was 300 bucks and thats how he was able to get the second copy that he has.

      Dangerboy runs GameRave. He is trying to win that copy, why would he shill it? That does not compute.

  9. Do you think we should try to get a group of people to donate towards winning this demo and then leak it? It’s not fair that only a few people have it. I’m willing to put $100 in if there are takers.

    • 4tharmoreddivision

      I can see you have no idea how the world works, much less how I work. It’s also apparent you can’t read, so let me bring you up to speed on the situation.

      1. If I am looking for a variant or any item, why would I artificially inflate the price of something I’m trying to get? If I could get a disc for $10, I’d pay $10.

      Also, and this is just me, but you do realize shill bidding only helps the *Seller* and not the buyer(s)…right?

      2. There is no where in the entire NBA 2 Ball article that I call it a priceless treasure. I sum up the entire 3 year research project as, and I am quoting, “Once the 60 seconds are over, you are shown the score, and can simply restart the game. That’s all there really is to it.”

      The game itself is a turd. It was the journey that was more compelling.

      There is no reason for me to ‘raise the value’ of my copies. I’m not selling it. I’m not selling anything of my PS1, or Neo, Or Saturn, or DC collections. They are with me to the grave. Unlike many people, I don’t see games as currency.

      Don’t even talk to me about slabbing.

      3. The only reason the $300 value is even in existence is because I AM THE ONE WHO OFFERED THE BOUNTY. If you ever see my Want Lists, I offer higher than the value on most things just to get it off my damn need list. After watching people RAPE my Assassin’s Case article for their auctions, and someone trying to extort me for $10,000 using my OWN web-page in their auction, it’s quite clear my fanboy-ish charm is ruining the collecting society. Apparently my moon man ramblings come off as something else, because you’re accepting views that have not been presented.

      4. Ah, finally, your last post reveals you. Pure jealousy. “It’s not fair” that I spent 3 years of research, work, blood, sweat, and a few tears when the original disc cracked in my drive. It’s not fair that I’m allowed my ‘prize.’

      But to you it’s fair to twist words of the one person that actually cared about the item.

      Then say you’d pay $100 to own a FUCKING ROM of it and claim I’M The one artificially inflating the value of it?

      Go back to the nursery, kid.

  10. 4 hours to go on this auction! I’ll be bidding at the last minute and then worry about collecting money for a group purchase once I win. I’ll probably put up between $1000 – $1100. Someone told me they may know someone who will to buy it to if a group purchase falls through.

  11. Well, someone mailed me early trying to get me to pay $1200 sight unseen for one. Told him $300 is the highest I’d pay, and haven’t heard from them since.

    Nice to know the second half of my prediction came true.

    Good luck with the auction. $100 a second is way to much money for that platter.

  12. Final price is $710.00 with 25 bids. Aside from that One Feedback bidder, history looks legit, with the top two having over 500. Looks like this should get paid for.

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