It’s starting to look as though Electronic Arts has no plans to scrap their recently poorly selling Need for Speed franchise, as the publisher has just announced three new titles in the series. Each title will release on a different consoles, with the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 sharing Need for Speed Shift. According to Kevin Munro, VP of Marketing at EA, this new strategy of developing different types of games across several platforms will help keep the franchise fresh.
– Need for Speed Shift (PS3, Xbox 360, PC, PSP) — A "hardcore racing simulation" overseen by Black Box executive producer Michael Mann, and Patrick Soderlund, the co-founder of DICE and current senior vice president of EA Games Europe. External developer Slightly Mad Studios will be responsible for putting a realistic spin on the franchise.
– Need for Speed Nitro (Wii, DS) — As you might expect, this one will feature a "unique visual style," courtesy of EA Montreal. Nitro promises to take full advantage of the unique controls on offer for both platforms, but without sacrificing depth. According to Munro, "We do not want to fall into the trap of creating a ‘Need for Speed Lite.’
– Need for Speed World Online (PC) — Jointly developed by Black Box and EA Shanghai, this free-to-play online racer is set to launch in Asia this Summer, with a North American release slated for next Winter.
Apparently, you can expect Shift and Nitro to hit retail shelves during Fall 2009. So much for escaping the drag of yearly installments.