SSX 4 will appear on current-generation console systems only and will not feature online gameplay, Electronic Arts producer Steve Anthony has revealed in a US interview with GameSpot, following EA kingpin Larry Probst' revelation that the game would ship between October and December in the States.
EA UK has since confirmed that the game is currently going by the working title of "SSX On Tour", used in the trailer linked below.
The new SSX, which you can see in action in trailer form on Eurofiles here (7MB, Windows Media), certainly won't be sitting still though.
The introduction of streaming technology throughout means that you'll be able to explore the mountain uninterrupted by load screens - alongside friends in offline multiplayer, too - while there have also been refinements to the game mode structure, controls, character line-up and more.
The game's only been in development since last autumn, but the range of changes is pretty vast. A new career mode, called "Tour", will task you with guiding your character from unknown to rockstar status on the mountain, with lots of customisation options - as well as creating your own character and customising everything down to clothing and equipment brands, you'll be able to opt for skis or a board, medal or "shred" events, and whether to focus on tricks or racing.
Fans of the eclectic personalities that made up the character roster in previous games will be pleased to hear that seven are returning with three new additions, and a greater degree of customisation should be seen here too.
EA is also experimenting with different control schemes. For example, it's considering alterations to the way monster tricks are activated so that you're not caught by surprise so much, according to Anthony's GameSpot comments. The most recent SSX title, SSX 3, arguably suffered because there was just so much you could do with the controls that you'd inevitably do some of it by accident when you least wanted.
Right now there's only vague discussion of track design - more free-form than before - but as you can see from the trailer on Eurofiles today, it's certainly kept the feel, with familiar sights, sounds and camera angles.
We should get a chance to see some more of SSX 4 at E3 this month.