EA has announced that Need for Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed will be released on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC next spring.
The announcement comes just days ahead of the arrival of Criterion's first stab at a Need for Speed title, called Hot Pursuit, arrives at UK retail on Friday.
The first NFS: Shift was released in September 2009 and for the first time saw the sries square off against the likes of Forza and Gran Turismo by offering a realistic, physics based recreation of the sport complete with car tuning and real-life tracks.
This new Shift game will like the first will be developer by Slightly Mad Studios and promises to deliver a complete graphic overhaul, as well as a brand new helmet camera and new track and car degradation elements.
It will also include the NFS Autolog social networking service that will debut in Hot Pursuit this week.
Shift 2 Unleashed is redefining immersive racing by blending the rush of tearing up the track at unbelievable speeds with the emotional experience of competitive battle," executive producer Marcus Nilsson stated.
We are also working closely with real-world performance drivers to ensure that Shift 2 Unleashed captures their experience and becomes the benchmark in authentic racing action.”
It's interesting to note that spring release date of the game. In September of this year EA boss John Riccitiello claimed that EA's two Need for Speed studios – Criterion and Slightly Mad – were both working on the series on a bi-annual basis.
With Shift 2 now pencilled in for a release just five or six months after Hot Pursuit, does that indicate that perhaps EA has had a change of heart and is now aiming for two releases in the series each year?