EA Keeps Gaming World on Edge with "Need for Speed"

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    The Electronic Arts headquarters is seen in Redwood City, Calif.

    Electronic Arts is steering the popular "Need for Speed" franchise in a new direction.

    The video game publisher today announced plans to spin off the 15-year-old racing series into three driving games on different platforms.

    The new games will speed into three separate genres -- simulation, action and arcade racing -- and are expected to be released later this year.

    They are "Need for Speed Shift," a first-person racing simulation for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360; "Need for Speed World Online," a multiplayer action-driving game for PCs; and "Need for Speed Nitro," an arcade-style racing game for the Nintendo Wii and DS.

    The new games have been in development for two years.

    The original "Need for Speed" was released in 1994.