This year’s Need for Speed title might be exclusive to the "next-gen" PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S consoles, with a release date of November. This would indicate that the title potentially becomes the first truly next-gen racing game.
Electronic Art’s iconic street racing series Need for Speed has been a household name for the franchise. From the early days back in the 90s to the recent NFS Heat, the title is known for taking players on wild street races, intense police chases, and high-speed sprints.
Over the years and across its 21 mainline installments, many different studios have brought their unique interpretation to the franchise, evolving the formula in different ways. From EA Vancouver to Black Box to Criterion to the most recent titles by Ghost Games, each era of Need for Speed has brought something new to the franchise. With Ghost Games scaled back to a support studio called EA Gothenburg, Criterion is once again taking charge of the upcoming title.
Need for Speed 2022 is set for this November, only on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S
According to a well-known industry insider, Jeff Grubb over on Giantbomb, this year’s Need for Speed is going to be released only on current-gen consoles, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S. While Grubb didn't mention a PC version, considering EA’s previous track record, the game is expected to debut on PC as well and possibly be included in EA Play Pro with a trial on the base EA Play.
Over the last decade, the NFS franchise has maintained a two-year release schedule for new entries. As such, a new entry was expected in 2021, following the massive success of NFS Heat in 2019 and the resurgence of the franchise. However, there was a delay due to the pandemic as well as Criterion assisting Dice in the development of Battlefield 2042.
During his Grubsnax podcast, Jeff Grubb said:
"Need for Speed is still coming this year… that’s true, that game should be coming in November. If you are a Need for Speed fan who has bought a next-gen console, here’s some news; it’s next-gen only. They are shifting to next-gen only."
Considering that by the time the title releases in November 2022, the current-gen consoles will already be two years old. As such, the game being exclusive to current generation platforms does make sense.
While racing titles such as Dirt 5, Forza Horizon 5, Grid Legends, and Gran Turismo 7 did release on the current-gen hardware, the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X|S, they were also built for the previous-gen PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. However, optimizing for almost decade-old hardware did limit the above titles in some form or another. If NFS 2022 is indeed being built from the ground up specifically for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S, it would give the developers an opportunity to tap into significantly more computing power from the very start and deliver a truly next-gen racing title.
The last four mainline NFS titles were developed by Ghost Games, and while 2015’s reboot was criticized along with mixed responses for 2013’s Rivals and 2017’s Payback, 2019’s Heat was a phenomenal Need for Speed title, with some even considering it to be the best of the franchise.
According to Grubb, this year’s title will most likely take place in Miami with a very similar vibe to that of the iconic Underground duology. With Criterion once again stepping into the NFS development role, fans are unsure what to expect. Criterion developed 2010’s Hot Pursuit (which recently got a remastered re-release) and 2012’s Most Wanted, as well as co-developed Rivals with Ghost Games.
With a possible release date of November 2022, the next mainline Need for Speed title is expected to be officially revealed this summer.