18 Aug

Cologne, Germany – To conclude the EA Press Conference, Stephen Viljoen (COO of developer Slightly Mad Studios) and Need for Speed producer┬áJesse Abney took the stage. They emphasized the new course their upcoming game Need for Speed: Shift is taking with respect to the series’ previous installments and that the new game would focus on creating a true driver experience.

According to Viljoen and Abney, their driver experience consists of three important points. First, the cockpit view which pits players in the actual seat of the driver. Secondly, perception based G-Force physics, which means that as the car moves faster, objects within the cockpit or towards the side of the screen will become more and more blurred and only the road directly in front of the car will appear in focus. Finally, a dynamic system that allows brutal crashes to be depicted realistically on screen will be included in the game.

A live gameplay was showed to emphasize these elements. The demo also revealed that the game will be scoring drivers in real-time, based on their moves on the track. Driving cleanly and along the ‘best line’ will result in ‘clean driving points’, depicted in blue. Driving aggressively will result in red points, though no clear examples were given on when they would be awarded. Together, these points and other statistics will create a driver profile for each player. Based on these points, an image reflecting a player’s ‘driver personality’ will be created and shown on his or her profile.

The demo was set on a virtual representation of the famous Belgian race track ‘Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps’, which Viljoen and Abney stated was based on thousands of pictures that were taken on-site to ensure a realistic experience.

The game will be available at retailers September 15th in the United States and on September 17th in Europe. The game will be available on PC, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. Handheld versions of the game will be released on the Playstation Portable and iPhone.

A new trailer to the game was also shown, which is included below.