The preview season refers to the period of time beginning with the release of media and information on a forthcoming game, and ending with the game's release. With NBA Live and NBA 2K, the preview season generally begins in June (around the time of the NBA Finals and E3), and concludes when they are released in late September or early October. Unconfirmed news and rumours, and on some occasions official preview media, are sometimes made available earlier in the year. However, a majority of the news on upcoming basketball titles tends to be released in the last two or three months before they are released.
During the preview season for some games, developers will host a Community Event, in which prominent members of the basketball gaming community will be invited to the studio to play the game as it's being developed. This provides an opportunity for gamers to give feedback to the developers directly, and in many cases, report back to their fellow gamers with details and impressions of the game. Hands-on impressions from gamers and the gaming media alike are seen as an important part of the preview season.