Let’s face it, the Nintendo Wii is one of a kind. No other form of entertainment has ever taken such drastic changes to a tried-and-true industry time and time again and came out successful. Every time we turn around, Nintendo is doing something innovative. The first truly great home console, the first touch screen hand-held game system, and the first mainstream console to use sensor bars and movement sensors as it’s main controller all came from Nintendo.

Many games developed today are often made for two or three consoles and maybe even the PC. Others are designed for only one certain system. Nintendo has Mario, Microsoft has Halo, and Sony has God of War. But when Rockstar first announced “Rockstar Table Tennis,” most everyone had an expression of disbelief. Rockstar is the developer of the exceptionally violent Grand Theft Auto series, the bane of parents and priests alike.

So was anyone expecting the company to develop a table tennis game? If you can find someone that did, trust me, they deserve a cookie. However, when the game first released, it was on the Xbox 360. It was much more fun than anyone really expected and now, apparently due to the Wii’s recent success, Rockstar has designed to release the game for Nintendo’s newest system.

Why is this important? For one, it proves that companies are taking notice of the Wii’s massive sales. Second, it has the potential to sell much better than the Xbox version because of the utilization of the Wii-mote. Much like Wii Sport’s tennis game, the Wii-mote will be used just like a paddle in a game of fast paced ping pong a.k.a. table tennis.

The 360 version was very mechanical; each time one hit the ball many factors such as speed, direction, spin, and height went into play at the push of a button. It wasn’t just a button-mashing back-and-forth ball game. Players controlled every aspect of playing true table tennis. What we have to wait and see now is how well Rockstar can translate this into the Wii-mote’s sensor. Will spin be forced into the ball by twisting your wrist like real ping pong? I wouldn’t doubt it. Details like this are what make Wii games so innovative and what makes the games sell, so I wouldn’t put it past Rockstar to place things like this in the game.

“Rockstar Table Tennis” is set to be released this fall in time for the holiday shopping season, and due to the success of the Xbox 360’s version, I would expect the Wii version to do nicely.

Tyler Pilgrim


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