Virtua Tennis is celebrating its 10th anniversary with the first motion-sensing tennis title for Xbox 360 Kinect, PS3 Move and Wii.
The series first arrived on Dreamcast to critical acclaim. The fourth game adds a range of single-player and online features, as well as motion controls. Purists can play using a controller, while PS3 owners even get 3D.
“The No.1 tennis series is back, and is releasing on what is a pretty significant date,” says Sega’s senior product manager Anna Downing.
“For many that will be the wedding of Kate and Wills, but for gamers it signifies the start of the gaming tennis season, and with the extra bank holiday to boot, a few extra hours of play. Motion control and 3D are great additions to the game and provide us with the opportunity to expand our audience, taking the game into new territory.”
Game, set and match
Virtua Tennis 4 also boasts other additional features.
Gamers can now fill a ‘Match Momentum’ gauge over the course of a match and improve their player’s ability as he or she grows in confidence.
They can also take part in a revised world tour career mode with an RPG element that allows them to make off-court decisions.
An online hub allows gamers to take part in both competitive and casual matches, complete with tournaments and comprehensive matchmaking modes.
There’s also a host of new mini-games which can be completed to improve a player’s skills. Plus, there are 22 tennis stars to choose from including Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova.
With over £1m invested in marketing for the title, Virtua Tennis 4 represents Sega’s biggest spend on a Virtua Tennis title to date and the game is shaping up to be a smash.
Making a racket
A range of 20-second and 30-second ads will run on Channel 4, E4, Sky Sports, Sky, ITV2 and ITV4 from April 25th to promote the game’s release. A second phase is served during Wimbledon.
Virtua Tennis 4 spots will appear on a range of specialist, lifestyle and mainstream sport websites with takeovers and display ads planned.
Print and other events
A special feature will appear in the free weekly publication Sport, while consumer sampling is in place. The game has also been showcased during this year’s Sony PlayStation tours.
Owners of Virtua Tennis 4 on PS3 will be able to play as tennis legends Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg and Pat Rafter and access two extra mini-games.