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New Direction for Need for Speed

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image EA’s flagship racing series, Need for Speed, is set to take on a new dimension in its next release.

Currently, the series is based on “arcade-style” video game racing. However, in order to do justice to the current generation of gaming consoles’ power and innovative gameplay, EA has decided to split the franchise into two distinct product lines, one emphasizing simulation-style racing, and the other a traditional arcade racer.

These two lines are called Shift and Nitro, and they’re the names of the next installment in the ever-popular racing series.

Need forimage Speed: Shift will be a simulation-style racing game that will be available for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Nitro, of course, will be for the Nintendo platforms (Wii and DS). According to EA, Nitro will be developed by EA Montreal, as they have had successful experience with the Nintendo platform.

Nitro is also being targeted at casual gamers (hence its target towards the Wii and DS), and I’m hoping that it’ll do justice to the Nintendo platform as it will be developed specifically for it and not just ported to it (as was the case with Undercover).

image Shift will be targeted at hardcore fans of the series, and because its being developed for the “higher-end” platforms, it comes as no surprise that its graphics will be superb.

Currently there isn’t much else known about the games (eg. storylines, car lists, soundtrack etc.) as it’s still too early in the development cycle. However, Byte Lounge will be tracking this game and updates will be posted as they happen.

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