Tetris out Tomorrow on PSN, Its Creator Talks About the PS3 Edition

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It’s been a long time coming, but Tetris is finally coming to the PlayStation 3 tomorrow, along with new, exclusive multiplayer modes, and the type of shine you can only get with 1080p and 5.1 surround sound.

Tetris Team Battle

We tried these multiplayer modes out at an EA event a few weeks back, and I can say with confidence that longtime Tetris fans will enjoy them with like-minded friends. As we were testing out the game, we were informed that Alexey Pajitnov, the original creator of Tetris, was looking on. So of course, I got nervous and started stinking it up…

As someone who had been playing Tetris since it showed up at my elementary school in the mid-80s, a time when entertainment imported from Russia was pretty much unheard of (aside from vodka), I had a number of questions for Mr. Pajitnov:

How did you come up with the idea for Tetris? Were you trying to jam a lot of boxes in your car and had to get creative?

I was just having fun. I really like puzzles and was inspired by a puzzle board game called Pentomino.

Tetris is generally thought to be the “first true puzzle” videogame. What are your favorite games that have come out in this genre you created? What makes a good puzzle game?

I like many puzzle games – Pipe Dream, Parking lot, Doctor Mario, and Shanghai. In my opinion, it’s very important that a good puzzle game has a large number of levels – from very simple to very hard.

I know the game is 25 years old, but I’d like to hear your advice on playing the game, as it seems there are two schools of thought on Tetris. Should you always attempt to keep the playing area as clear as possible, or should you continually try to set it up to clear 4 lines at a time with the stick piece?

The Tetris game allows many strategies – pick the one that fits you best. In my opinion, usually beginners try to keep the field clear, while more experienced players like to somewhat fill up the matrix to set up short combos in advance. “Masters” routinely set up for 4 line-clears, or a “Tetris” line clear, for more points, and “Grandmasters” tend to play for T-spins and long combos.

Tetris Marathon

Tetris has transcended gaming to be a part of popular culture. Pretty much everyone’s played it, and so there’s a reference that anyone can get (like a vignette from a 2003 episode of The Simpsons). What’s that been like? Where’s the most interesting place you’ve seen Tetris appear?

I was very amazed to see the game played on the side of a skyscraper, using the lights and windows of the building to create falling Tetriminos. That happened at Delft University of Technology where engineering students played the world’s largest working Tetris game along the side of their building. I didn’t see it live, but the videos online are very fun!

Why do you think Tetris has stayed fresh after 25 years? People can still pick it up and play it (and they do).

Why not? Technology has drastically changed in the last 25 years, but not the human brain. I think all good games from the past can become popular again, but in order to do so, they’ll need to be re-introduced properly and kept relevant to current pop culture and technologies. We’ve always done a great job of developing the Tetris game for cutting-edge platforms, like the PlayStation 3 with surround sound and high-definition graphics.

You haven’t just been sitting on the achievement that is Tetris. What have you been doing since the game released?

I worked as a game designer for many years with companies like Spectrum Holobyte, Nintendo, and Microsoft. I also published several titles such as El-Fish, Pandora’s Box, and Hexic.

Finally, why should people pick up Tetris on PlayStation Network?

To have fun! What can be the other reason?

Tetris arrives on PSN tomorrow for $9.99.

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128 Comments

9 Author Replies

  • I will be there…..count on it. And I am pretty good too, so add me and BRING IT!

  • buying tetris tomorrow love that

  • Still can’t get enough of Tetris after all these years

  • Another EA game? No Thanks.

  • From Russia with love. :)

  • 9.99 Good price, glad EA and Co. didn’t jump the shark on pricing. I’ll be picking this up, thanks!

  • this game shall be mine! specially, since this game supports custom soundtracks, correct?

  • Demo? Will there be a demo!?

  • Where there be a demo?

  • This might sound blasphemous to our modern gaming sensibilities, but Tetris really is the perfect video game. I enjoy reading interviews with Alexey Pajitnov because he always has such a unique viewpoint on the medium.

  • 1. I didn’t even know the original creator of Tetris was still alive.
    2. You really went beyond the call of duty for getting an interview with him.
    NICE. Will look into.

  • @8

    A demo? For Tetris?! Why? ;)

  • WHAT 9.99! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

  • $10 when I can play for free online? No thanks, maybe when its discounted at $5.

  • I Have a Quick question about the music that will come with this version of Tetris. with the in game soundtrack have the “Type A” song from the original Gameboy?

  • I’ll wait for a sale. Game is not worth $10, but will still sell millions at that price.

    All you people are the reason we can’t have nice things:(

  • Anything about this and PS+?

  • Sweet Tetris goodness.

  • I guess spending 10$ is better than 15$.

  • $10 is a meh. like the other guy said, you can play free online. why pay $10 for a free game

  • why do you need a demo for a game like tetris? hahah

  • Trophy support?

  • Just when I was thinking to myself, im not going to buy another Tetris game… The price is making it hard to say no…. DARN YOU!!! I guess ill be adding this to my collection.

  • theft!

  • This isn’t related but, when is the back to the future episodic game by telltale games coming out on PSN?

  • I remember playing Tetris on the SNES back in the days. Good times.

  • @23

    Yes, 12 of them.

  • neat twist on the classic, btw I have an original copy of Pipe Dream for Nes, still unopened in cellophane and got it two weeks before release(that wasnt yesterday now was it) Interested??. My bro did the post production sound for it…

  • I love Tetris. Though I never really had my very own copy until the Xbox version (Tetris Worlds), I enjoyed playing almost every Tetris game since the original Gameboy version. Either my friend or a relative had a copy of whatever release it was, or I rented it.

    Competitively, my favorite so far is The Next Tetris for the N64. I also liked how after meeting a certain amount of completed lines, they would be contributed to building different wonders of the world (ie: the Sphinx, Mayan Temple and others that I can’t remember).

    Tomorrow’s PSN release competitive play seems to resemble the N64’s version. Can’t wait to check it out.

    -BTW, much respect to Mr. Alexey Pajitnov. Thanks to him, one of my favorite game genres exists.

  • To me Tetris is more of a on the go game, I will wait for a demo to decide.

  • My mom would love to play this. She is in no way a gamer, but Tetris is a game she’ll play for hours. And now that they have a PS3 (DVD/BluRay Movies, Music Player, Photo Gallery/PlayMemories, Netflix, NHL GameCenter, etc) and a HDTV, I think I may bring this to her attention.

    I may get it as well, but that’ll be after I pre-order & fully pay off Dragon Age 2, Littlebigplanet 2 and Mass Effect 2.

  • If PS+ has taught me anything, it’s that I’ve been a fool for buying PSN games on day one. So, sorry Tetris, maybe we’ll meet in a PS+ update some month, but not this week.

  • Does this version include the “hot line” and other modes from Tetris Worlds? My friends and I loved playing those alternate-rules versions that turned the game on it’s head! That and Super Monkey Ball DX were the go-to party games for our Xbox 5 years ago.

    Can we look forward to seeing Hexic or his other games mentioned coming to PSN with similar HD upgrades?

  • Isn’t the PSP version of Tetris like $10 to… its like a mini or something? Yet this full PS3 PSN title is only $10. Thats accurate, change the price of the PSP version please?

    Wish I could download this one for my PSP. Sob. :(

  • Sweet thanks Jeff. Tetris will be fun in the big screen with no pixel issues.1080p sweet.3D support and move?

  • Again, can not wait!

  • Can’t wait to get this game! Tetris is a classic…
    And by the way, why do I get red line that corrects
    words every time I write Tetris, this should be fixed!

  • this is great and all but lets talk dollars and cents. whats the price tag on this bad boy?

  • disregard comment 39. 9.99 is the perfect price point. thank you

  • @Jeff

    So would you say the changes made to Tetris would be worth while to someone who got sick of playing Tetris about 15-20 years ago? I use to love the game, but I have a hard time bringing myself to play it even on my PSP for more than 5 levels. :'(

  • Loved Tetris on Gameboy, loved playing Dr. Mario, I play Tetris on my iPhone to pass the time so I will be defiantly be getting this tomorrow.

  • I’m there, and just to let you guys know, if there is a leaderboard I’m on it….I was once hospitalized for 3 months with “you guessed it” a gameboy and tetris. 260 lines was my max.

  • this tetris game is already out in new zealand ive bought it and it is pretty awesome

  • When I was a kid I use to sit in the bathroom before school and play this game on the original gameboy. What an addicting game this was. I became so good I was soon able to finish the game before walking out the door to catch the train to school. That was in the late 80’s early 90’s. Those were some good memories. Hold on to the good things guys and cherish them. In this world it’s easy to dwell on the negative.

  • Wow $10 great price…Thank you

    come on guys you cant complain on a $10 price tag when its coming with all those features full HD 5.1 surround sound and trophy support. There is A LOT of work put into making games, even small games like this.

    ill be buying this first thing tomorrow followed by angry birds =]

    question? any remote play support?

  • Any PS One Classic drops this week or soon?
    perhaps legend of dragoon(Japan has it and its torture!)

  • $10? Eh, I’ll stick with Lumines Supernova. Always nice to hear from Mr. Pajitnov, though. A true giant.

  • Hey Jeff could u get with someone over at SNK and tell them to fix those crappy online servers was trying to play with a friend for an hour and could not get one online match going, if not could u provide info on who the right ppl to contact are.

  • im having issues with SamSho and Art of Fighting, forgot to mention wich games they are.

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