If you were looking forward to getting your hands on the next entry in the adored Test Drive Unlimited series this September, you’ll want to change your plans. Nacon and KT Racing have confirmed the third entry, Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown will no longer meet its original date, and will now release in 2023.
Originally confirmed in 2020, TDUSC marked a comeback for the franchise after years of rumors and speculation. Following the reveal, all went silent until the following year when the Nacon Connect live event revealed that the game would be set on Hong Kong Island.
While a much smaller map compared to the previous games in the series, at a bit over 30 square miles, with 1:1 recreation it would roughly mirror the size of Forza Horizon 4’s map, with almost 350 miles of road.
Today’s news will no doubt disappoint, but all is not lost as Nacon and KT Racing appear to understand what makes TDU unique. In its Steam blogpost confirming the delay, the team acknowledges that TDU has a “rich and complex DNA”, but what we’re especially interested in is the mention of a lifestyle.
As fans can attest, what makes TDU truly unique is not only getting into your favorite car(s) and driving/racing across the open world. There’s the additional element of purchasing homes, clothing items, purchasing cars from dealerships, using the turn signals, rolling down your windows — just a few things that contribute to TDU’s lifestyle.
Fans will be happy to hear that the Solar Crown team are aware of these traits — and many others — and will include them in the upcoming game. Not only that, they want to go further and offer new experiences, as well as making all of Hong Kong Island and its 550km of roads a “no-limits playground where the fun never ends”.
Even better, the team wants to make the most of the additional development time by working on a schedule for closed beta periods.
There’s no firm date for this just yet, but Nacon notes that players who want to get a taste of what the next game will offer will be able to do so “long before the game releases”, which likely means some first looks later on this year. Player feedback will also go into the game’s development.
However, some players will still be set for disappointment. If you were planning to pick the title up for eighth-generation consoles — PlayStation 4 and Xbox One — you’ll be out of luck.
Solar Crown is no longer being developed for the last-gen devices, making it a purely next-gen title. The team cites wanting to make the most of the technology housed in the new consoles, and “maximising the overall quality of the game”.
That’s no doubt a shock, and will understandably upset those unable to claim a PS5 or Xbox Series consoles for themselves due to the ongoing silicon shortage, but it will likely be better for the game overall than having a next-gen title limited in its scope to satisfy older hardware.
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