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Ghost Games and Electronic Arts have delayed Need For Speed on PC to 2016. The reason why? Because the game will have unlocked frame-rates on PC and will supposedly have better graphics than its console counterparts.
Over on the official Need For Speed website a blog post explains why they decided to delay the game and how they plan on moving forward with development.
The Ghost Games team makes it pretty clear what their intentions are with Need For Speed, writing...
Part of the conversation includes hearing from our PC community that an unlocked frame rate in Need for Speed is a massive priority for you, and we fully agree. To deliver this, we’ve made the decision to move the PC release date to Spring 2016. Our PlayStation 4 and Xbox One release dates will remain the same, starting November 3, 2015 in North America and November 5 worldwide.
The release date being pushed back to spring of 2016 is a pretty big jump from the fall release. What's interesting is that the reason for the delay is the frame-rate being unlocked for the PC version of Need For Speed. Given that the game is always-on it's easy to imagine how an unlocked frame-rate or having the ability to modify the frame-rate through messing with the game's configuration files could yield some very disastrous results for the online gaming experience.
With Need For Speed: Rivals the game suffered on PC from locked frame-rates and some gamers with beefy rigs noticed the game had some frame dropping issues and other problems, and so they decided to manually unlock the game's frame-rate by messing with the initialization files. However, it turned out that making the game simulation time boosted from 30fps to 60fps broke the engine simulation, since the engine sim-time was locked at 30fps. What ended up happening was that the game speed was doubled and the physics became wonky. Eventually modders managed to match up the game simulation time with the engine simulation time and get Need For Speed: Rivals to run at a smooth 60fps on PC. However, playing online was out of the question given that the latency synch time was completely off for anyone playing at 30fps.
If Ghost Games is actually looking into making sure that PC gamers can play at either 30fps or 60fps and that the engine synch isn't locked to 30fps. Of course, if the game was hard-locked at 30fps it would likely cause The Framerate Police to come down fast and hard on them.
Personally, I don't mind that the game is being delayed to spring to fix the frame-rate on the PC version of Need For Speed. But the main issue is that the game is always-on and has a lot of forced social networking mechanics shoved into the gameplay experience. Not only does this put a limited shelf life on the game's operation but any sort of progress tied to the online social mechanics will be rendered void once the servers shutdown.
Anyway, a closed beta is set to get underway for Need For Speed on Xbox One and PS4 and sign-ups are open right now.