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September 2017 Retro Gaming Article


September 9, 2017 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

US Open winner Sloane Stephens should be added to the rosters, but tennis video games have vanished

Where did Tennis Video games go?
I loved Topspin and Virtua Tennis with real tournaments and actual pro players changing with each release. Suddenly all the tennis games disappeared! Where did Tennis Video games go?
I loved Jimmy Connors Tennis on the NES. The start up screen has a recognizable 8-bit headshot of Connors and I thought that was grand! Once you were in a match, the visible essence of Connors slipped into a pixelated bliss, but it was better than RealSports Tennis. But tennis would become epic as technology improved!

Mario Tennis for Wii U Being a tennis player myself, I snatched up almost any video game with a hint of tennis. From Snoopy Tennis on the GBA to Outlaw Tennis on PS2. But the games really pulled me in with the realism of TopSpin and Virtua Tennis both featuring real player rosters and tournaments. How cool was that? But can you believe 2K Games canceled TopSpin back in 2011? Has it been that long.

Other sports franchises have stayed te course year after year, its so strange that tennis games faded away. Mario and Peach still hit the courts in a zany version of tennis, for the Wii U, but those "more realistic" games just ceased.

As I watched Sloan Stephens win the US Open this year, my first thought would be... "Will she be in Virtua Tennis or Topspin - both perhaps?" But the sad reality is - neither. They're gone. Tennis has vanished from video games. Sports games are as popular as ever and thrive, but tennis has not made that cut.

But tennis may be on the rebound and coming back next year. This past May, Big Ben and Breakpoint Studio announced Tennis World Tour for PC and consoles in 2018. That would be a welcome addition to sports games. I wonder if Tennis World Tour will come to Nintendo's Switch. I'll have my Joy-Cons ready if it does!

Pierre André, Game Designer on Tennis World Tour and former Producer on Top Spin 4: "For years we've wanted to create a new tennis game, a spiritual successor to Top Spin 4. Technical evolutions now mean we can create the ultra-realistic simulation that we've been dreaming of."

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