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Click above for a high-res gallery of screenshots from coming Need for Speed titles

Electronic Arts, the folks who recently brought us Need for Speed: Undercover, are now working on three (possibly four) new titles in the franchise. According to EA, they're just trying to "keep the game fresh and the players entertained." If you're a cynic, you're getting another plate of something that hasn't tasted good since Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit.

Your three options will be NFS: Shift, NFS: Nitro, and NFS: World Online. Shift is "built for racers by racers" and will "deliver a true driver's experience that reflects contemporary motorsports." Nitro is an arcade take on the game with "a fresh and unique visual style." World Online is a free web-based player that "takes the race into the largest open world in the history of Need for Speed."

And if you believe the skinny from Eurogamer, EA is working on a fourth NFS that will continue the work of "crafting different games for different audiences and their unique tastes in the driving category." As for the ones we know about, Speed and Nitro will hit shelves this fall, with World Online following in winter. For now, you can can read the press release after the jump, and check out the high-res screenshots below.


[Source: Joystiq]

PRESS RELEASE

Need for Speed Franchise Races Into New Genres
Global Studio Teams Drive Quality and Innovation in Three New Games

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – January 30, 2009 – Fifteen years; more than 40 countries; close to 100 million games sold. Need for Speed™ has helped to define automotive culture for millions of fans with its embrace of the car lifestyle and its cool rebellious attitude. Today, Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS) unveiled the details of what is in store for the franchise over the next 12 months, as the property expands to new platforms, new categories and new media.

Need for Speed is committed to providing unique and customized experiences for all types of racing fans by establishing three independent series; simulation, action and arcade racing. Each series will be developed by a highly-specialized team dedicated to delivering the ultimate racing experiences to car enthusiasts around the world – whether they be interested in adrenaline action, arcade fun or authentic simulation.

"We recognize racing videogame fans are very passionate and unique -- they want customized gameplay experiences. Whether it's more of a realistic driving game with accurate car physics or over-the-top cop chases, we are making different games for different audiences," said Keith Munro, vice president of marketing, Need for Speed. "Each game provides a deep, engaging and rich racing experience. We're giving players the option to choose the best racing title that suits their style of gameplay."

Need for Speed SHIFT – Fall 2009
Shift into high gear! Designed to deliver a true driver's experience that reflects contemporary motorsports, Need for Speed SHIFT is built by racers for racers. Need for Speed SHIFT delivers an authentic and immersive driving experience developed by Slightly Mad Studios in collaboration with executive producer Michael Mann at Black Box and senior vice president Patrick Soderlund at EA Games Europe. Slightly Mad Studios includes developers and designers that worked on the critically acclaimed games GT Legends and GTR 2. Need for Speed SHIFT replicates the true feeling of racing high-end performance cars like never before. Players are thrust into the heart of the action with immersive and exciting features including a stunningly realistic first-person cockpit view camera and an all-new crash mechanic, providing an unrivaled sensation of the speed and feeling of racing a car on the extreme edge of control.

Soderlund is also part of a racing team that recently competed in the 4th edition of the TOYO TIRES 24H Dubai 2009, the first major race event of the year. His team ranked #5 in the high-profile race. Soderlund and the SHIFT development team are committed to bringing the on-the-track experience to players across the world.

Need for Speed SHIFT will be released on PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system, PSP® (PlayStation® Portable) and PC in fall 2009.

Need for Speed NITRO (Working Title) – Fall 2009
Developed by EA Montreal, Need for Speed NITRO for Wii™ and Nintendo DS™ will have players of all skill levels hooked from the moment they get into the action, while arcade racing fans will be exhilarated by the deep and challenging gameplay. EA Montreal has already established a strong track record of developing for these platforms and will bring their unique creativity and innovation to the Need for Speed franchise.

Gamers can build up their boost as they drift and drag behind their opponents and use it strategically to change the course of the race, but watch out for the cops! Offering a fresh and unique visual style, the game features a variety of licensed cars which can be fully customized to let the game reflect the player's taste and personality. This evolutionary take on arcade racing, bringing back the best features found in Need for Speed games, comes exclusively to the Nintendo platforms this fall.

Need for Speed World Online – Winter 2009 in North America, (Summer 2009 in Asia)
Co-developed by Black Box and EA Singapore, Need for Speed World Online takes the race into the largest open world in the history of Need for Speed - designed exclusively for the PC. Beginning in Asia, this Play 4 Free action racing game will give Need for Speed fans access to licensed cars, parts and multiple game modes. Players will prove their racing supremacy through the sophisticated online matchmaking features and fully customize their profile and their ride.

EA and Black Box will have more news about the Need for Speed franchise in the months ahead.

For more information on the Need for Speed franchise, please visit: www.needforspeed.com


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  • 28 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm a big fan of the old NFS's but SHIFT at least has some potential. GTR2 was an amazing game, if they can change the horrible driving physics and make a great sim then i'll be ecstatic. I'd still rather have a new Hot Pursuit but i'll take anything over what we have now.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I agree. EA is just trying to cash in. There hasn't been any compelling NFS games since Porsche Unleashed, IMO.

      But back in 1997 I thought NFS2:SE was the best game ever, though. I've spent quite a few bucks on a voodoo2 to be a able to play it. It's been all downhill for the franchise from there on. Nothing compares with Forza2 or GTR2 nowadays, and I eagerly await the real GT5 and a sequel to GTR2.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is what I want in my perfect Racing Game:
      Crash Physics from DiRT/Grid.
      Cops from NFS: Most Wanted
      Maps as large as TDU
      Scalable realism as high as rFactor
      AI as good as GTR2
      Optional Minigames like Flatout 2
      All the cars from each one of those mentioned games.

      ...Anyone remember the Street rod Series (Win 3.1)? ... I wouldent mind actually "putting" together a car again.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Great formula. I vote for that too. Highest priority on rFactor like realism or better.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yes. I have it on a 3.5" floppy and still play it on my old 386 machine from time-to-time when all I want is simple, fun gameplay with pixelated Deuce Coupes.

        I'm just waiting for a digitized Vin Diesel to appear in one of the NFS games, flexing his e-abs.

        Remember: if he uncrosses his arms, his chest will deflate.
      • 6 Years Ago
      i just rented undercover a few days ago, already beat it... the grafx are low-qual, driving physics are beyond unrealistic, game play is stressfull, garage views and the cars look great, but all the vinyls except for the camo body vinyls are ugly... i'm rollin a camo widebody bugatti veyron... that car will end the game, just buy it straight from playstation network instead of usin all your credits to buy it in the game... actually passup nfs:undercover and save your cash. i'm glad my rental was free (though i bought the veyron for $3.50)
        • 6 Years Ago
        You bought DLC for a rental? Wait...what?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Which one will feature car customization that gives you more points just for slapping sh*t on your car? That's the one that I'll play.

      Alternatively, which one will be the closest to NFS: Porsche Unleashed? That was the best game EVER!
      • 6 Years Ago
      We don't need another racing sim. We have Forza and Gran Turismo, which are both excellent titles.

      NFS needs to stick to what it has always been, a fast paced arcade racer. Undercover was a step back in the right direction, after the mess that was known as Pro Street. Undercover isn't nearly as good as Porsche Unleashed or Hot Pursuit 2, but it's much better than the craptastic Midnight Club LA, or the equally bad Grid.

      Oh, and JDM lover, there are Lambos, BMW, and 911s, and lots of other exotic cars in the new NFS. Once again you speak on an issue you know nothing about.
      • 6 Years Ago
      they need to bring back Road rash that was original made for the genesis, that would be a hit for sure, road rash 1 and 2 maybe the best games ever made for genesis.
      • 6 Years Ago
      NFS Porsche Unleashed...best NFS EVER
      • 6 Years Ago
      I do hope the simulator one won't be only "racing around tracks", simulators are fun, but there's Gran Turismo 5 for that... If they get the "right feeling of a car" mixed with "awesome police chases" stir it a bit and then top it with a nice "interior camera" and good "crashes physics", it could be a win...
      • 6 Years Ago
      I just want the old NFS back. All of the new ones are not nearly as entertaining as NFS:Hot Pursuit III was on PS2. Wide open road racing with super cars is what NFS has, and should still be.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Amen.




        The new game are too....fast paced....and the cars you get in the new NFS are cars like cobalt and tuned civics....i miss the lambo's, M5, 911's the list goes on.....


        The first pic of the three games looks good tho.
      • 6 Years Ago
      NFS lost me after the original hot pursuit for Sony PS1. They started rolling downhill with NFS: HP2, even though that was a decent game itself.

      I love the older NFS (NFS III, HP 1).
      • 6 Years Ago
      As many mentioned, apparently EA is oblivious to their successes and failures. The early NFS and Hot Pursuit (maybe one other title depending on your opinion) was all I liked. The massively online version massively failed. Having 3 variants is as smart as having, lets say.... 3 variants of Vista. All the same crap, with a few different features. There is no reason to have multiplayer, arcade and realistic in 3 different titles unless each is REALLY good and history says it won't be.

      In all honesty, I would LOVE to see this work, something for everyone except that it will be shipping in about 9 months meaning they created 3 games in roughly a year or two.
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