NASCAR' 14 hits stores on Tuesday, Feb. 18, and this is a major release in the lineage of the series under its current affiliation.
The pressure is on publisher Deep Silver and developer Eutechnyx to deliver the best NASCAR title ever. It could be the last version released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Leaving the current generation of consoles on a positive note would be nice.
From what we've seen, things are looking good, but the definitive word won't be spoken until the controller is in the gamer's hot little hands, and the game is in our consoles.
Here are the specs you need.
Release Date: Tuesday, Feb. 18
Consoles: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Steam
Why No PS4 or Xbox One?
Speaking of consoles, it may seem a little strange that NASCAR 14 is only being released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and not either of the next-generation consoles.
Eutechnyx executive vice president Ed Martin sat down with Jon Robinson of Sports Illustrated's Extra Mustard to discuss the matter and to talk other specifics about the game.
The quote is a bit long, but it seems necessary to add the proper perspective. Martin said:
We took a good, hard look at it, but there just isn’t enough hardware out there yet to justify the cost of development. The nail in the coffin was when a guy from Sony talked about Gran Turismo, and how their new game was launching on PS3.
He said something like, ‘Why would we put Gran Turismo on a console that has zero units in the market when there are 150 million PlayStation 3s out there?’ Well, it’s a great question. It costs us about $6 million to develop a next-gen version of NASCAR.
You have to sell an awful lot of copies in order to meet the development costs, on top of all the licensing. There are about 4-5 million worldwide combined units of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, so it just doesn’t add up for us right now. We own the rights, and we absolutely have plans, but it won’t be later this year.
Gamers should appreciate the candor there, but next-gen console owners/NASCAR fans are still likely to feel bummed. Undoubtedly, they want to see what the combination of NASCAR goodness and next-gen technology can create.
As Martin said, there are plans for that marriage, but those interested will have to wait.
Cover Driver and Features
That's enough talk about what's not present. Let's delve into what we will get an opportunity to experience. Here's the official trailer for the game.
Tony is the Man
NASCAR veteran and three-time Sprint Cup series champion Tony Stewart won the cover vote.
Stewart said this to NASCAR.com after he was announced as the winner of the fan vote:
Being selected by the fans to be on the cover of NASCAR '14 is a huge honor. It's been a long couple of months, but my fans' passion has been one of the driving factors in helping me rehab and my ability to prepare for returning to the race car in February.
This will be the third time Stewart has graced the cover of a NASCAR title. The outpour of support for Stewart shows his fans are fired up for his return to the track after a broken leg kept him out of action for most of the 2013 season.
With Eutechnyx technology recreating the proper weather and track conditions for races during the season, this mode allows you to experience the best competitions with a twist.
The car and driver you're controlling has the ability to re-write history.
A more comprehensive and detailed career mode experience is promised. It will include custom-car builds, sponsor acquisition as well as research and development.
Official Teams and Tracks
Official NASCAR teams and drivers are at your disposal and provide the opposition for gamers. The real-life tracks are available as well. Daytona, Talladega and Sonoma are just a few of the legendary runs you'll be able to race on.
In the weeks leading up to release, NASCAR Gaming on Twitter has been whetting our appetites with images of car renders.
Here's a look at a few notables:
One of the most interesting inclusions in this year's title is the online leagues. The game boasts fully supported statistics, challenges, rankings and even replays.
I'm not sure you understand how cool that could be.
To have the opportunity to have your own NASCAR season and The Chase with friends online is pretty awesome. Hopefully, this mode is as good as it sounds.
In case you're not interested in playing through an entire season online, there's an option for single races and tournaments. It's a nice alternative made to appeal to gamers with varying amounts of time and attention spans.
Start Your Engines
With less than a week before release, there's enough information about NASCAR' 14 to create some excitement. Stay tuned for a full review post-release.
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