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4 new Need for Speed games

First shots inside on NFS's new directions

Hold on, wasn't Need for Speed supposed to be dead? EA's revealed that four new series instalments are on the way, including the gorgeous and exciting Shift, which is in development at GTR studio Slightly Mad Studios.

Shift - which we'd be off to see today if it weren't for the perilous blizzards in London - is said to be a new direction for the series, focusing more on simulation that games gone past.

Unsurprising really seeing as the chaps behind the excellent GTR games are responsible, and the first shot looks incredible.

Zoom

Second up is the obligatory Wii and DS game, Need for Speed: Nitro, an "arcade-style racing game" developed by EA Montreal.

Following that is interestingly an online game; Need for Speed World Online by EA Singapore is a free-to-play game that will be launched in the Far East, followed later by the West.

EA has confirmed that a fourth game is in development at the remnants of EA Black Box, but it's a secret for now.

EA marketing VP Keith Munro told The AP on the new direction: "It's all about crafting different games for different audiences. The 'Need for Speed' brand is quite powerful. It has great recognition, even outside of gaming. When we talked to consumers about what the brand meant to them, we realised that it could be stretched to new limits on different platforms.

"In the past, our 'Need for Speed' games have done very well on all platforms," Munro said. "We just think we can do better with this new plan. We actually have the opportunity to devote an entirely new studio and development team to the creation of a from-the-ground-up Nintendo-only 'Need for Speed' game. We didn't have those resources available before.

"Over the years, we've asked the Black Box team to deliver a new 'Need for Speed' game every year. We've gone to a couple of new studios to deliver next fall's games to inject freshness into the category and give the Black Box team time to retrench."

The new games have been in development for two years, says EA. It wouldn't be too hasty to expect them before Christmas then, we imagine.

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