Road & Track Presents The Need for Speed

From Sega Retro


NeedforSpeed title.png
Road & Track Presents The Need for Speed
System(s): Sega Saturn
Peripherals supported: Arcade Racer Joystick, Saturn Backup Memory, Mission Stick
Genre: Racing

Number of players: 1-2
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Saturn
$49.95More...[1] T-5009H
Sega Saturn
£44.99More...[2] T-5009H-50
Sega Saturn
?F T-5009H-50
Sega Saturn
DM ? T-5009H-50
Sega Saturn
?Ptas T-5009H-50
Sega Saturn
R$69.99[4] 193246

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Road & Track Presents The Need for Speed, is a racing game developed by Pioneer Productions and published by Electronic Arts for a number of consoles including the Sega Saturn.

In Japan, this game was significantly altered and released as Nissan Presents Over Drivin' GT-R.



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The Need for Speed was developed in part by Electronic Arts Canada, previously known as Distinctive Software. As a racing game attempting to simulate the feel of driving, it can therefore be seen as a spiritual successor to The Duel: Test Drive II (1990's Test Drive III: The Passion being developed by a different team for Accolade).


The Saturn version of The Need for Speed derives from the DOS version, which in turn was an enhanced port of the 3DO original. While outputting at a smaller resolution, the Saturn shares many of the new textures introduced in the PC version and retains most of the new gameplay options (and adds a two-player split-screen option too). It also runs much faster than its 3DO counterpart, partly due to the console's improved performance (being able to output a stable 30FPS versus the 3DO's wavering 15FPS), but also due to design changes in the PC game to make The Need for Speed feel faster.

Whereas the horizon rotates slightly when going around corners in the 3DO version of the game, on the Saturn it remains fixed at all times. Unlike all other versions, gages in the cockpit view do not function at all on the Saturn, with these details being relegated to a much larger HUD. The Saturn version also allows users to select the time of day which is not seen in older versions.

While the PC version is generally considered to be the definitive version of the game, only high-end machines could utilise the game's top graphical settings in 1995. The PC version is also restricted to 8-bit colour, as opposed to the 16-bit or 32-bit colour depths found in the console ports.

The PlayStation adaption improves on what is found on the Saturn, re-introducing some of the minor details lost in the Saturn conversion while adding new lighting effects. Cruicially the PlayStation port is the only version to include in-game music, however its uncapped framerate means the game appears more "juddery" than its Saturn counterpart, as frame rates average between 30-35 FPS. Console additions would be re-introduced to the PC in the form of Road & Track Presents The Need For Speed SE in 1996.

Magazine articles

Main article: Road & Track Presents The Need for Speed/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

GamePlayers US 0908.pdfGamePlayers US 0908.pdf

Print advert in Game Players (US) #0908: "Vol. 9 No. 8 August 1996" (1996-07-09)
also published in:
  • Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #85: "August 1996" (1996-xx-xx)[5]

SSM UK 10.pdfSSM UK 10.pdf

Print advert in Sega Saturn Magazine (UK) #10: "August 1996" (1996-07-20)
also published in:
  • Computer & Video Games (UK) #177: "August 1996" (1996-07-11)[6]

PlayerOne FR 066.pdfPlayerOne FR 066.pdf

Print advert in Player One (FR) #66: "Juillet/Août 1996" (1996-xx-xx)
also published in:
  • CD Consoles (FR) #19: "Juillet/Août 1996" (1996-xx-xx)[7]

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
77 More...[8]
89 More...[9]
90 №56, p158
60 More...[2]
93 More...[10]
90 More...[11]
96 More...[12]
80 №82
75 More...[13]
Sega Saturn
Based on
11 reviews

Saturn, US
RaTPTNFS Saturn US Box Back.jpgRaTPTNFS Saturn US Box Front.jpg
Needforspeed sat us manual.pdf
Saturn, EU
RaTPTNFS Saturn EU Box.jpg
RaTPTNFS Saturn EU Disc.jpg
Saturn, BR

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Saturn
663,031,152 CD-ROM (EU) T-5009H-50 V1.000
Sega Saturn
663,031,152 CD-ROM (US) T-5009H V1.000