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Need for Speed Variations Friday, 30.01.2009
Electronic ArtsAs it seems Electronic Arts re-structures the Need for Speed series. As » Eurogamer reports, there will be three different NFS games this year for core, casual and 'Play 4 Free' gamers!

Need for Speed: Shift will launch in autumn 2009 on PC, Xbox 360, PS3 and PSP, Need for Speed: Nitro for Wii and DS. Need for Speed: World Online will be released for the asian online PC market this summer, which goes along with this » rumours from October 2008.

Need for Speed: Shift
This title focuses on simulation racing and shall become more serious:

Shift focuses on simulation racing - not just the realistic movement of cars, but also driver behaviour. This, EA marketing boss Keith Munro told Eurogamer, is what will set the game apart. Also, less baggy jeans and hip-hop.

"The urban underground was a manifestation of style in some past Need for Speed games for sure, but Shift focuses less on these style cues and more on mirroring the driver experience, that athleticism of being in a wickedly-intense race, and what it really feels like to be behind the wheel," Munro told us.

A flashy 3D HUD that mimics driver head movement, inertia and G-force will help achieve this. There's a cockpit view that lets players freely look around using the right thumbstick, too.

NFS Shift


Munro reckons serious car enthusiasts will "love" Shift, and that mainstream racers will also get on board. He's quite excited.

"Need for Speed Shift is amazing and I think it will blow people away," said Munro. "The tech behind that game, the details that only a team with such racing pedigree could accomplish, and the ability to make you feel the intensity of a race is unprecedented. I can't wait for our fans to begin experiencing it!"

And, he added: "Regarding any new Need for Speed girls I can't comment, but I'll definitely mark down one enthusiastic vote for Josie Maran." Steady on.


NFS Shift is being developed by the Slightly Mad Studios which are responsible for GT Legends and GTR 2. They are supportet by EA Black Box producer Michael Mann and EA Games Europe bigwig Patrick Soderlund.


Need for Speed: Nitro
This game will be developed by EA Montreal and focuses on the casual gamer. It's a fast fun-racer with vibrant and eye-catching visuals.

"Need for Speed Nitro on the Wii and DS will not be a Mario Kart clone - Nintendo already does an excellent job with that," sagte Munro. "Instead, we are evolving the arcade racer with a fresh and unique visual style that is very Need for Speed. The game will be rich and deep and will appeal to experienced arcade racers as well as casual players.
What you'll see is that Nitro in no way resembles any other previous Need for Speed title."



Need for Speed: World Online
NFS World Online will be co-developed by Black Box und EA's online studio in Singapore. The game will be released in Asia this summer and if it does well, it should come to the west in winter 2009.

Released to Asia first, this online PC game will let players pick and customise their choice of licensed vehicles and take on the rest of the world - well, Asia, before heading West after a thumbs-up there.

"This is not so much a proof of concept - it is a full-fledged launch in a market that we are very ambitious toward,"
explained Munro. "This Play 4 Free action racing game will give Need for Speed fans the most licensed cars, parts and game modes ever in Need for Speed's history.
Players will prove their racing supremacy through the sophisticated online matchmaking features and fully customise their profile and their ride."





In an additional » article at Eurogamer it is mentioned, that EA Black Box is currently working on a future action title for the NFS franchise. There are not details known yet, but with NFS Shift, Nitro and World Online this would make four different NFS games.

Could this be a case of EA playing safe in the face of the economic crises and milking a safe and proven brand?

Not according to Munro, who said the credit crunch had "not played any role" and that work began "long before" we all began feeling the pinch.

"This isn't about quantity, this is about crafting different games for different audiences and their unique tastes in the driving category," he explained.

"The motivation was purely driven by our understanding of racing gamers and their desire to experience different kinds of racing games. I would say that our strategy is the inverse of milking; it is an intentionally non-traditional approach."

"We took a consumer-first approach and spoke with the fans about what they would like from their Need for Speed. Player feedback was consistent - create custom simulation and arcade experiences but maintain the franchises' core values of street culture, attitude and beautiful licensed cars," he added.





So far, all this sounds quite promising, since it has always been a problem of the Need for Speed series lately, that with such a large audience not every customer could be satisfied. With the separation in the different areas EA might could manage to fill the needs of all gamers.

A simulation-based racing game for PC, X360 and PS3 is something many wished for. The new orientation for the "casual gamer" on Wii and DS is really good thing and World Online is quite a big step, but considering the online boom in Asia this could very well work.

EA tried once an online racer with Motor City Online, but apparently it didn't go well but that was years ago, where the infrastructure wasn't as much developed as it now is. MCO was only available in the USA and was shut down one year later.

So far the mysterious additional title by EA Black Box is still open, but unfortunately there is no new information about that yet.

We will see, how much from all this is really true, but so far it sounds quite promising. We will let you know when we know more.

» Eurogamer
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NFS UC: Your questions for Producer Q&A Tuesday, 27.01.2009
Scott NielsenNext week Scott Nielsen will sit down with Andrew for a Producer Q&A about the NFS Undercover Patch. If you want, you can send in your questions:

Before Christmas we confirmed the team were hard at work on a patch for Need for Speed Undercover. The game team have been nose to the grindstone since then getting the patch ready and hope to be releasing it soon. As we prepare for the release I spoke with Scott and he kindly offered to sit down with me next week and answer any questions the gamers have about it.

So, if you've got any questions you'd like to ask Scott about the content of the latest patch or the plans for supporting Undercover during the year, send them to me. I'll be quizzing Scott soon so make sure you've got the questions to me in the next couple of days and I'll ask the best ten or so questions we receive.


Send your questions to andrew@needforspeed.com.

» Announcement at Needforspeed.com
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NFS-TexEd 0.7.0 Beta 2 Sunday, 25.01.2009
A new version of the texture editor NFS-TexEd by nfsu360 is availabl! With this editor you can extract and import the textures of several Need for Speed games. With the version 0.7.0 Beta 2 you get the following changes:

- Fixed save function
- Fixed replacing textures in compressed archives
(completly new algorithm, no decompression, all
operations in memory)
- Fixed BMP and TGA export, now headers are correct
- Fixed support BMP (P8) textures
- Fixed support TGA (RGBA) textures
- Fixed scanning function
(bug double ID)
- Optimized archive processing

You can download NFS-TexEd here:

» NFS UC: Downloads
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NFS UC: Ladies Night Wednesday, 21.01.2009
NFS UndercoverToday, on January 21st the first Need for Speed Undercover Ladies Night is coming, brought you by the GamerchiX. As the name already says, it's a community event specifically for gamer girls.

The GamerchiX have been running their Ladies Night for three years and gathered a community of more than 9,000 girls. Especially for the Ladies Night the Active Community Member Achievement in NFS Undercover is active, so if you want to boost your gamescore and - this is important - you are a girl, you should go online tonight.

You can find more information about the GamerchiX and the signup for the Ladies Night here:

» GamerchiX Homepage
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Rumour: Undercover Patch coming soon Tuesday, 20.01.2009
NFS UndercoverAs the onlinemagazine » Kotaku reports, the » previously announced Patch for Need for Speed Undercover is near completion.

The patch, which we're told will be finalized in a few weeks, will be coming to all three platforms and address gameplay and performance issues as well as other "improvements."

When the patch is released you'll get to know here.

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NFS UC: Shelby Terlingua Mustang Cheat Friday, 16.01.2009
NFS UndercoverEA published a new cheatcode for Need for Speed Undercover on Needforspeed.com, which unlocks the Shelby Terlingua Mustang.

The car was prototyped by one of our car designers, Mike Hayes, who then took it to Shelby to work on the real-life counterpart. There are a lot of impressive things about the Shelby such as the supercharged V6 under the hood but perhaps the most impressive is that you could actually drive the Terlingua in the game. To take the car for a test drive you should enter the code NeedForSpeedShelbyTerlingua into the codes section in the menu. Please note that this car only works in the Quick Race and Online modes and it's not possible to customise but why would you want to?

For a video and pictures of the Shelby Terlingua visit Needforspeed.com:

» Shelby Terlingua @ Needforspeed.com
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NFS UC: TexEd 0.6.0 Beta Friday, 16.01.2009
The texture editor for Need for Speed NFS-TexEd by nfsu360 is available in a new version: 0.6.0 Beta. The updates are support for P8 textures and the possibility to import textures to compressed archives from NFS Underground 2 and Most Wanted..

Currently the author is working on a full support of compressed archives for NFS Carbon, ProStreet and Undercover.

You can find the download of NFS TexEd here:

» NFS UC: Downloads
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NFS UC: TexEd 0.5.8 Beta Sunday, 11.01.2009
A new version (0.5.8) of NFS TexEd has been relased. This update contains mostly bugfixes.

NFS-TexEd you can show, extract and import texture files of the games Need for Speed Undercover, ProStreet, Carbon, Most Wanted, Underground 2 and Underground.

For the next version the author nfsu360 is working on the support of P8 textures and fixing the import algorithm.

You can download NFS TexEd here:

» NFS UC: Downloads
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NFS UC: Save Editor v1.2 Saturday, 10.01.2009
NFS UndercoverA new NFS Undercover Save Editor by CoDe RiPPeR is available, which allows you to edit several values of the NFS Undercover Savegames. In contrast to the » existing Save Editor by arushan this one can do other things than unlocking new cars:

- money amount
- unlock access to all shops, thus making all cars, parts, customizations etc. available for buying
- unlock access to all career races and jobs
- mark all types of races completed
- driver skills

There are also some optional features, for advanced users, such as:

- DB export and import
- checksum fixing

You can find this tool in our download-section:

» NFS UC: Downloads

» Order Need for Speed Undercover at Amazon.com
» Order Need for Speed Undercover at Amazon.co.uk
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NFS UC: Takedown Episode 6/6 Thursday, 08.01.2009
NFS UndercoverThe last episode of the NISSAN Takedown Series has been released, where the real and virtual world of NFS Undercover are combined.

You can either watch the last episode (and the previous ones) on Youtube or on NFS-Planet here:

» Takedown Episode 6/6 @ NFS-Planet
» Takedown Episode 6/6 @ Youtube
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