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Virtua Tennis 4 Serves PS Vita-exclusive Features, VT Apps

Jeff Rubenstein's Avatar + Posted by Jeff Rubenstein on Aug 19, 2011 // Sr. Social Media Manager

Virtua Tennis 4 for PlayStation Vita first stepped onto the court at E3. Even at that early stage in its development, the game showed signs of ambition. It seems that Sega is taking great care to adapt the tried-and-true gameplay for PS Vita by extensively leveraging the handheld’s hardware strengths, all without dumbing down the series’s winning formula.

Now, at gamescom, I finally got to see some of these game modes in action.

Virtua Tennis 4’s core experience is nearly identical to its recently-released PS3 counterpart; you can create a character, start a career, and participate in tournaments while enhancing your skills through all kinds of bizarre tennis-related skill tests. Likewise, you can jump into the shoes of Andy Roddick, Roger Federer, or other real-world tennis stars.

What PS Vita brings to the court is a new, yet optional way to control the main serve-and-volley action, plus a series of “VT Apps.”

23819Match_04

The core gameplay opens up considerably thanks to the PS Vita touch screen. Tap on the screen and your player will run to that spot. Once in place, you swipe in the direction you want to hit the ball, utilizing different gestures for topspin shots, lobs, backhands and more. Multitouch is employed to launch a lethal power shot – just swipe using two fingers to add an exclamation mark to a long volley.

Of course, you can still use the traditional stick-and-button controls, but here’s where it gets interesting: since both types of controls are always enabled, you can use a combination of the two. After a couple of games, I was navigating around the court with the left analog stick, and directing my shots with my right index finger on the screen. You can leverage any mix of touch and traditional controls, even in the middle of a point.

23812App_TouchVs_02

You might not always have enough time to power through a five-set marathon match, and so Virtua Tennis 4 for PS Vita includes a number of “VT apps” which are exclusive to the platform. My fave is called Touch Vs – a top-down mode for two players to compete on a single PS Vita. By turning the PS Vita on its side — air-hockey style — each player gets an analog stick and some screen real estate to shoot. It should prove to be a fun way squeeze in some two-player competition (and start a few conversations, too).

Additionally, Virtua Tennis 4 takes advantage of the Vita’s gyroscopes with the first person VR match (see the video above), and skill-building Rock the Boat, where you’re controlling your player as well as a ship you can lean back and forth. Virtua Tennis 4 also plans to take advantage of the system’s cameras through use of augmented reality, though Sega wasn’t yet ready to show that off.

23811App_RockTheBoat_03

Virtua Tennis 4 will be ready for launch when the PS Vita goes on sale. Tennis game aficionados should probably plan on taking it home with them the day they pick up a PlayStation Vita.

//Add Your Own

26 Comments

1

+ gold1617 on August 19th, 2011 at 10:19 am said:

Looks Great!


2

+ tazmania91 on August 19th, 2011 at 10:25 am said:

OMG ! It looks really great !


3

+ Creative_ae on August 19th, 2011 at 10:30 am said:

OMG, unbelievable graphics for hand device looks great, cant wait for this awesome portable device !


4

+ GoodFella2487 on August 19th, 2011 at 10:34 am said:

This looks incredible at 60fps, my gosh.


5

+ Fre4king_Perf3ct on August 19th, 2011 at 10:36 am said:

wow looks really nice!


6

+ aro52 on August 19th, 2011 at 10:38 am said:

Is the Virtua Tennis series, the successor to the great PS2 “Sega Sports Tennis”…? Cause I loved that game back in the day! If this plays anything like that, I will be all over this!


7

+ remanutd5 on August 19th, 2011 at 10:39 am said:

wow , it looks great !!! NA playstation vita release date? more info on the web browser , youtube app ?


8

+ Heavenly_king on August 19th, 2011 at 10:40 am said:

I am not into sports games, but the graphics are amazing.


9

+ BuchNasty on August 19th, 2011 at 10:44 am said:

I won’t be getting this at launch… it’d be great to know when the vita is actually being released though.


10

+ remanutd5 on August 19th, 2011 at 10:44 am said:

why cant Resistance Burning Skies looks like this or Uncharted Golden Abyss?


11

+ jelly_bean on August 19th, 2011 at 10:45 am said:

Great. Can’t wait to play it. I hope Vita releases before the end of January 2012 ;)


12

+ kNoWlEdGe22 on August 19th, 2011 at 11:11 am said:

I had been thinking of picking up the PS3 version, but after reading this… I’d rather the Vita version…


13

+ pickupdoctor on August 19th, 2011 at 12:07 pm said:

PS VITA will rock, I think SONY has a smash hit on their hands, this looking better and better, I already have 2 of them on preorder, I need to start ordering some games now.


14

+ BJtheLegend on August 19th, 2011 at 12:09 pm said:

PS VITA DAY ONE!!!!!!!!


15

+ Alyyse on August 19th, 2011 at 12:54 pm said:

i never played virtua tennis. but i’m willing to play anything on the vita


16

+ SogeKing on August 19th, 2011 at 2:05 pm said:

Wow


17

+ Type-F- on August 19th, 2011 at 6:28 pm said:

2012 is not soon :(


18

+ materclobber on August 19th, 2011 at 7:37 pm said:

all i got to say is playstation vita is going to be EPIC!!!!!!!!


19

+ materclobber on August 19th, 2011 at 7:41 pm said:

man that camera feature is cool. u guys put A LOT of work into this machine, great jop. imaginary audience aplauds*


20

+ HongoXIII on August 19th, 2011 at 9:51 pm said:

Looks really good.


21

+ MadMeat001 on August 19th, 2011 at 11:01 pm said:

more interesting than I taugh


22

+ Busca-Cabezas on August 20th, 2011 at 6:40 am said:

PlayStation Home should have those awesome face customization tools!! :P


23

+ amirsensei on August 20th, 2011 at 9:15 am said:

PSVITA Looks great, but i don’t play portable games… so chances of me buying this is 0%.


24

+ marlyt on August 20th, 2011 at 9:55 am said:

Cool to see Sega trying something new with this series. I got the PS3 version the last 3 years and it has lost some of it’s edge. Can we get a release date for Vita for the love of burritos, please!!!


25

+ Jackal888 on August 21st, 2011 at 9:50 am said:

I like the mini games in past VT games. The matches are fun but Over the top training games are the best. What is the Vita game price point? Hopefully we can get $25 games.


26

+ GTAandMGS on August 23rd, 2011 at 5:00 pm said:

VF5 needs this update.


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