The original Need for Speed was released for 3DO in 1994 with versions released for the PC (DOS) (1995), PlayStation & Saturn (1996) following shortly afterwards. Most cars and tracks are available at the beginning of the game, and the objective is to unlock the remaining locked content by winning tournaments. The first version featured chases by police cars which remained a popular theme throughout the series
The initial version also featured an obnoxious opponent who taunted the player if the computer won the race or the player is arrested (if the player is ticketed several times).
The first installment of the NFS was one of only two serious attempts by the series to provide a realistic simulation of car handling and physics without arcade elements (the other being Porsche Unleashed). Electronic Arts teamed up with automotive magazine Road & Track to match vehicle behavior, including the mimicking of the sounds made by the vehicles’ gear control levers. The game also contained precise vehicle data with spoken commentary, several “magazine style” images of each car interior and exterior and even short video-clips highlighting the vehicles set to music.
Another version of the game, called The Need for Speed: Special Edition, is based on the 1995 PC release of the game, and was released only for PC CD-ROM in 1996. It featured support for DirectX 2 and TCP/IP networking, two new tracks, time of day variations for most tracks (morning, midday and evening), and various enhancements in the game engine.
The Need for Speed and its Special Edition are the only games in the series to support DOS. Subsequent releases for the PC run only within Windows.
|MINIMUM PC REQUIREMENTS|
|CPU Type: Pentium|
|CPU Speed in MHz: 75 MHz|
|RAM: 8MB (MS-DOS), 12MB (Windows 95)|
|Hard Drive Space: 4MB (MS-DOS), 30MB (Windows 95)|
|Sound Card: (Windows 95) compatible or (MS-DOS) Sound Blaster, Sound Blaster Pro, Sound Blaster 16, Gravis Ultrasound, Ensoniq Soundscape|
|CD Drive Speed: 2X|
|Video Card: PCI SVGA|
|Video RAM in MB: 512K|
|Graphics Type: SVGA|
|Color Depth: 256|
|Graphics Resolution(s): 320 x 200, 640 x 480|
|Compatible Devices: joystick, mouse, keyboard|