With all this new technology, sports games will never be the same again.
Top Spin 4 launches next week in North America and during a conference call today with 2K Czech associate producer Michael Kelly and executive producer Francois Giuntuni, we learned about how Move will have an impact on the new tennis installment. Firstly, they addressed the reason why their game supports Move and not Kinect; it wasn't a limitation in terms of hardware, per se, but a matter of design. Said Giuntuni:
"When Move was announced and presented it felt obvious we should support that with a tennis game; given the way it feels and looks almost like a racket. It's not so much of a technical issue; more of a design question, that actually prevented us from implementing Kinect. And one key element was that we wanted to preserve the gameplay regardless of controller.
With Kinect, we were not able to conceive a way to provide the depth we needed from the gameplay. Now, if you look at Move, all the swings and mechanics are available. T he gameplay will work and feel the same [as if you were using a regular controller]. We didn't want a 'lite' or 'dumbed down' version."
One other interesting note was made concerning the shot selection with Move: while we'll be able to do just about everything, and that includes putting spin on the ball with our arm motion, they had to relegate the slice shot to a button (the trigger). Evidently, during focus testing, it became clear that when using Move, players would get a little…well, spastic, and they'd often inadvertently hit a slice. But beyond that, we should still have full control with the basic movement of our arm.
They also touched on the reason they shied away from commentary, the number of stadiums/courts (43), and their primary goal: to make the gameplay both authentic and accessible. Yeah, it's difficult to cater to both the hardcore and the casual, but they're making a go of it.
Related Game(s): Top Spin 4