Set to debut later this year, NASCAR 06 is EA's next iteration of their long-running NASCAR series of games. The focus with last year's game was to let players experience the life of a driver, which really came down to building rivalries and unlocking a few licensed cars. This year, the focus is on your racing team and strategies employed by the various racing teams during a race.
For starters, players will have better communication with their pit crews and teammates via the USB headset. Unlike past NASCAR games, where the pit chatter was more of an option, it will be one of the keys to success in NASCAR 06. Not only will the headset allow you to hear what others are telling you, but you'll also be able to issue commands to your teammates by pressing the right analog stick in one of eight directions. These commands will include pit, block, follow and other team strategies. One of the more interesting commands is swap, which lets you take control of your teammate's car. There's no word yet on whether or not you'll be able to issue these commands through the USB headset, though you will be able pause the game and turn on certain displays all but using voice commands.
Similar to last season's rivals feature, relationships with other drivers will play a big part during races. Driving too aggressively, which usually entails trying to ram other drivers off the track, will be rewarded by equal aggression from other drivers. If the driver you just pissed off just happens to be on your team, he won't try to wreck your ride, but he won't be too willing to help you out if you need help or issue a command.
Look for NASCAR 06 later this year.