What’s The Future of Car Racing Games?
With Sony announcing the launch of the PlayStation 4, we ask what the future holds for the humble racing game and if the online revolution will ever match-up to the big-name console titles.
We have a look at the most popular car racing games from the leading manufacturers and developers and how they fair against the online offerings of today.
Released on 27th May 1997, Need for Speed for Sony’s PlayStation is the oldest yet most well-loved racing game of its time. Despite being over 15 years old, this unassuming and lifelike racing game changed the face of the car game industry and set new standard for racing rivalry.
Each vehicle was carefully modeled on its real-life equivalent and offered a choice of time trial, single race, tournament and head-to-head challenges. This game begged to be played with more than one person and was a real pioneer in the social car racing community.
Released on 16th June 1999, World Driver Championship for the Nintendo 64 lets players roam around ten of the best cities in the world including Sydney, Rome and Last Vegas. Instead of featuring incredibly realistic cars, developers Boss Game Studios opted for well-mapped cities so gamers could race around the world… literally! Early signs of gamification were introduced here as the game rewarded players who completed trials and unlocked challenges by offering them more powerful cars.
Representing the most modern breed of car racing games is Xbox 360s Forza 4. With sharper handling, more challenges and improved social interaction & community features, it gives users an insight into the new generation of racing games and sets the bar even higher for competitors Sony and Nintendo.
And now for the new(ish) kids on the block. PC gaming has been around since before the days of consoles and the popularity boom of the internet. However, computer-based games have come back around and are not afraid of taking a bit of the big boys’ market share from Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft.
Developed by Eutechnyx, the Auto Club Revolution free car racing community was set-up in collaboration with industry giants Mitsubishi, Bugati, BMW, Ford, Jaguar, McLaren plus many others and grants users an incredibly life-like racing experience.
Aside from top-notch vehicles, the online racing game offers an unrivaled community on-par with the likes of paid subscription services e.g. Xbox Live. Challenge members, customize your cars, showcase your awards and share your results on Facebook and Twitter; all from the comfort of your PC or laptop.
As new cars, tracks, accessories and rewards are available; they can be downloaded from the neatly-designed interface online straight to user’s devices and used as soon as possible.
With smartphones and tablets posing an increasing threat to the future of consoles and their subsequent racing games, whose side will you take in the battle of free vs. paid, constant updates vs. static gameplay and online vs. console?