"This is real racing," proclaims the latest trailer for Shift 2: Unleashed, a game which is to combine the vicarious thrills of an arcade-style racer backed up with input from professional drivers.

The collection of interviews compares real-life video with game footage, covering car handling, night driving, in-car perspectives and the challenge of capturing the look and feel of real-world racing. Motorsport drivers brought together under the Team Need For Speed name give their own feedback on the game's progress.

Though the claim that Shift 2 packs "the most advanced physics system ever released in a racing game" may not stack up against dedicated PC racing simulations such as iRacing and rFactor, Electronic Arts' title is serious about moving in on territory usually reserved for the Forza Motorsport and Gran Turismo series.

Gran Turismo 5's PlayStation 3 launch in November 2010 proved divisive after a five-year wait, though developer Polyphony Digital has been faithfully adding to it since then.

Turn 10's popular Forza Motorsport 3 for Xbox 360 is to be succeeded by a fourth entry in the series, not due out until autumn 2011.

Shift 2: Unleashed, then, is jostling for position as a premium brand on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. Electronic Arts has until the game's March 29 launch in North America - March 31 in Europe - to convince potential players that it's worth taking the plunge on the young upstart.

The Shift 2: Unleashed - Authenticity and Realism trailer can be found on Need For Speed's YouTube channel, or on the official website, shift2unleashed.com.