This is an interview we did with Sumo Digital, the developer of the Xbox 360 and PSP versions of Virtua Tennis 3.

Virtua Tennis 3 on Xbox 360

It’s not a particularly good interview, as we were trying too hard to be funny in our questions and they were trying too hard to be funny in their answers. As a result, it contains no useful information at all.

Virtua Tennis 3 on Xbox 360

Still, it’s an interview with Sumo Digital about Virtua Tennis 3 and has lots of great screenshots we took, so as long as it gets at least 10 Diggs and a link from Kotaku it will have been worth the effort.

Virtua Tennis 3 on Xbox 360


For idiot newcomers who’ve just discovered gaming thanks to Nintendo’s new toy, please say why Virtua Tennis is the best sports game in the world.

It’s more like playing real tennis, you actually have to move your player around the court. It’s nice and easy to play, you don’t have to worry about loads of buttons and controls, so pretty much anyone can just pick it up! Plus you can play sitting down, which’ll be a new experience to Wii owners, that and the players having a full complement of limbs.

We noted with GREAT JOY that VT3 plays the same as VT always has. This is more of a statement than a question, so you don’t have to say anything after this one.

If it ain’t broke…

VT3’s new mini games – are these designed by Sumo or AM3?

Whilst we did suggest various mini-games – most to do with selecting inappropriate camera angles! – these were dropped in favour of the AM3 ones :o)

For our European readers who like statistics, can you say how many mini games there are?

I believe we have at least more than one mini-game, and possibly less than 13.

What about other stuff? Is there other stuff?

You are expecting more? You can hear tennis players moaning and groaning at your every movement and you want more…?

Is there a ‘super racquet’?

Yes. But we’re not saying what special abilities it will endow you with.

Virtua Tennis 3 on Xbox 360

From a technical point of view, how do you make graphics go on a TV screen?

Inside each console is a sausage mincer that takes the raw graphics, then minces them up to go down the cable to the screen. This is why some cables are better than others. Take composite, it’s only got the one video tube, about as thick as a chipolata. This is why the picture on composite is all greasy and smeared. We recommend using a good quality component cable, which allows us to deliver a nice red Cumberland, green Lincolnshire and blue traditional Banger, giving overall a much meatier picture.

Is Richard Jacques doing any of the sound? You could get him to do grunting noises.

We prefer the girls grunting noises to be honest.

Can we help in any way? We could make grunting noises, or help ‘do’ the manual. For free, obviously.

We’d love to say yes, but usually we expect people to pay us for the privilege of working with us.

Who would you rather work closely with in a hot motion capture studio – Maria Sharapova or Daniela Hantuchova?

Wait a minute, we didn’t have to choose last time.

Can you adjust chest sizes in the character creation menu?

Of course we can, we’ll probably lock it out of the final game though.

You’re implementing the online play for Xbox 360 VT3 – how’s that going?

It’s going at 1080p at 60fps mostly. Plus with it being on Live, you can add your own grunts to the game! Or heavy breathing, whichever you prefer really.

Why is it that some games are glitchy and rubbish on Xbox Live, but others are really smooth? Surely developers should all enable ‘Really Smooth Mode’ by default?

Sending online data is similar to sending video, just you need to make sure there is no gristle in there. We use Tyne Brand data, unlike some other developers who use meat they’ve got cheap in the pub.

Virtua Tennis 3 on Xbox 360

Do you have any involvement with the PS3 version of VT3?

We’ve played it. That and stole all AM3’s source code, which saved us doing a load of work.

Wouldn’t it be great if Sony closed and SEGA made a new console? Say, for Christmas 2007? It would be about five times as powerful as Xbox 360 and would launch with just Space Channel 5 Part 3!

But if Sony shut, there’d be no PS3 to play Sudoku on! We would of course welcome a new Sega console like a brother we never knew we had. So long as they weren’t ginger.

Isn’t it sad what’s happened to Sonic The Hedgehog recently?

Don’t tell me that was Sonic I hit on the way home from the pub. I just thought it was a blue haired punk juggling some rings. Sorry mate.

Virtua Tennis 3 on Xbox 360

We might launch a campaign soon saying SEGA should make a new 2D Sonic game to release on Xbox Live/Virtual Console. Would you support this move? And more importantly, would you buy a t-shirt supporting it if we got some made up and charged about £17 for it?

We’d fully endorse a new 2D Sonic title. In fact we’re available for work as soon as VT3 goes. We only charge two thirds of our normal fee for a 2D game, since it has one less dimensions worth of graphics. T-Shirt wise, so long as it is better than the rival gangs ones, we didn’t get that.

Do you have any quotes you’d like us to get in the VT3 review? Usually we charge money for this service, but seeing as it’s Virtua Tennis we’ll do it for free.

VT3 is the only game to buy in March. Period.

Finally, can you say something controversial, so we can make it the headline and get loads of traffic from Digg? Say something like “PS3 isn’t as good as Xbox 360” or “Wii is just a Gamecube with a rubbish controller”.

Jack Thompson agrees that Virtual Tennis 3 is wholesome family fun. It is the only game he officially likes. Allegedly.



Virtua Tennis 3 on Xbox 360

Virtua Tennis 3 on Xbox 360

Virtua Tennis 3 on Xbox 360

We’re very proud of this screenshot. Great composition.

Virtua Tennis 3 on Xbox 360

Virtua Tennis 3 on Xbox 360

Virtua Tennis 3 on Xbox 360

Virtua Tennis 3 on Xbox 360

Virtua Tennis 3 on Xbox 360

We’ve reviewed Xbox 360 Virtua Tennis 3 about four times so far for various media outlets, giving it two 9/10s and two 5/5s. We’ll give it 10/10 here as you understand a bit better. 10/10. It’s the first game this year we’ve been genuinely enthusiastic about, instead of just pretending to be enthusiastic about.