Top Spin 4 Serves Up PlayStation Move, Stereoscopic 3D Tomorrow

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Top Spin 4 Serves Up PlayStation Move, Stereoscopic 3D Tomorrow

Hi guys! I’m here today to share some details for Top Spin 4, in stores tomorrow, March 15th in the US and March 18th internationally. A quick reminder: if you pre-order from GameStop today, you can still get a Vintage Andre Agassi, mullet and all!


Top Spin is one of my favorite video game franchises because it truly redefines the way you experience the sport of tennis. Intuitive controls make gameplay immediately accessible, yet deep and rewarding for the tennis experts who want to plan their strategy and target their opponent’s weaknesses. Top Spin 4 puts you front and center of the professional tennis experience with the deepest player roster ever featuring the sports’ top current pros and legendary stars including: Andre Agassi, Bjorn Borg, Roger Federer, Jim Courier, Rafael Nadal, Boris Becker, Serena Williams, Patrick Rafter, Michael Chang, Dinara Safina, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Pete Sampras, Andy Roddick, James Blake, Caroline Wozniacki, and more.

Top Spin 4 also has two PS3-related features: the use of PlayStation Move and 3D. Recently, I interviewed 2K Czech game designer Remi Ercolani for background on the use of PlayStation Move and 3D:

PlayStation Move

Remi Ercolani, Gameplay Designer, 2K Czech: For developers of a tennis game, devices such as the PlayStation Move provide an interesting challenge for us as designers and programmers. Playing tennis in front of your TV by swinging your arms with a device in your hand (that even feels like a tennis racket) is something most players consider natural. However, it also means completely rethinking the control scheme. We didn’t want to compromise anything with the PlayStation Move controls, and we wanted to stay true to what Top Spin 4 is all about: accessibility and depth. We came up with controls that are simple and fun and enable players with the PlayStation Move or a controller to play against each other.



Hitting the ball consists of two simple steps. First, move the Motion Controller from front to back to prepare your swing. Second, move the Motion Controller from back to front, as if you’re swinging at the ball. Simple as that. Oh, and by the way, it’s possible to play standing up as well as sitting on your couch.

Here are the different type of shots you can perform:

  1. Prepare to the back, then swing. That’s a flat shot.
  2. Prepare to the back and down, and then swing. That’s a top spin shot. You need to prepare downward to be able to put more spins into your shot when you swing.
  3. Prepare to the back while holding RT, then swing. That’s a slice shot.

To add power to your swing, you must swing wide and fast. The timing of your shot determines its quality, and timing is defined by the moment you perform the swing motion.


To serve, toss the ball up in the air and then swing down. Toss the ball and swing using the PlayStation Move motion controller, and aim with the navigation controller’s analog stick. The way you toss the ball determines the type of serve you’ll perform:

  1. Straight up, then swing. That’s a flat serve.
  2. Up and to the right, then swing. That’s a slice serve.
  3. Up and to the left, then swing. That’s a top spin serve.

The power behind a serve is based on peak swing timing. The closer to the peak of the ball toss, the more powerful the serve. To perform a tricky advanced serve, press the Move button while serving. Speaking of advanced controls, to become a master at Top Spin 4 and become extra competitive, try executing some of these special shots:

  1. Drop shot: slice shot + Move Button.
  2. Lob: L2 + any swing motion.
  3. Shot followed to the net (or serve and volley): L1 + swing (or serve).
  4. Drop volley: Control volley + Move Button.
  5. Inside out: perform a forehand (respectively backhand) motion when the ball comes on your backhand (respectively forehand). That will force your player to try and play a forehand or backhand.

Top Spin 4’s simple controls make it a very easy game to pick up. You’ll also discover advanced techniques you’ll need to master in order to become an even better player.


Sony Bravia Stereoscopic 3D

When we decided to support stereoscopic 3D in Top Spin 4, we wanted to ensure that the experience wasn’t only a technical feature for the back of the box. When we played the game with 3D for the first time, we realized the 3D effect was stunning during cut scenes when the camera is low and close to the players. In those moments, with the great on-court ambiance, you really feel like you’re on the court with the players and you almost want to reach out your hand to touch them. But we also found out that the 3D functionality was helpful in better understanding the ball trajectories and made the experience that much better. We decided to implement a dedicated 3D camera on PS3 that was intended to provide the best possible sensations, both in terms of playability and 3D effect. We came up with a lower camera (closer to the players) with specific behaviors. It must be seen to be believed!

I want to thank Remi for taking the time out of his busy schedule to give us insight on how to get the most out of using the PlayStation Move. I gave it a whirl a few weeks back and I had one of the most fun experiences I have had playing a video game. It worked smoothly and seemed to do whatever I wanted to with the “racket” in my hand.


Now I do want to mention a few other features that have been popular with our fans. Here are some of the things to look out for when you grab your copy tomorrow, March 15th:

Real Tennis Experience – See, feel, and hear everything the pros do in a real tennis match. Watch as your player moves and swings exactly like his or her real life counterpart thanks to the addition of over 4,000 more Signature Style animations with a variety of play styles. As you rally with an opponent during a crucial point, listen as the crowd builds with intensity due to all-new crowd FX. From the life-like visuals of the world’s best players, to the faithful recreation of the world’s most hallowed courts and the unparalleled authenticity of the on-court gameplay, Top Spin 4 provides a breathtaking tennis experience.

My Player/My Career – Many of you 2K Sports gamers may be familiar with this mode from other titles such as NBA and MLB where you get to create a player from scratch and guide him or her through every facet of a real pro tennis career, starting as a newcomer pro with the goal of becoming one of the game’s greatest legends. In Top Spin 4, we have the deepest Player Creator mode that will allow you to fully customize every aspect of your player with a new, streamlined interface and create a player with an uncanny amount of detail. You will then have the ability to develop this player over time and customize their style with the introduction of a variety of coaches.

After practicing, you will have to make a variety of decisions in your career that will determine whether you can become a legend. To represent your progression through the Top Spin League, we have defined eight statuses: newcomer, rookie, new talent, young gun, rising star, star, superstar, and legend. When you start your career, your status is “newcomer”. Your main goal in the Career mode is to progress to the next status, one by one, until you reach the very last one, Legend. To unlock a status, you have objectives to complete (examples: win two minor tournaments, have more than 45,000 fans, etc.).

Online World Tour Mode – Do you have what it takes to become #1 in the world? Create the ultimate player and hop online to take on other gamers from across the globe. Participate in tournaments and gain experience points to level up your player’s abilities, while tracking all of your online stats & ranking via leaderboards.

All of these features combined with the unbelievably realistic gameplay make for a solid package that any gamer can appreciate. Look for more info on the yet detailed feature, the 2K Open, coming soon but, all in all, we are really excited to get this game out to you folks.


Thanks for reading! Top Spin 4 hits stores tomorrow. In the meantime, you can follow us on Facebook to see exclusive Top Spin info, or feel free to drop me a line below or on Twitter. If you want to get an idea in any of the games we make, including NBA 2K11, MLB 2K11, or NHL 2K11? You have my ear and can always reach me. Drop me a line anytime!

Comments are closed.


18 Author Replies

  • It reminds me of my Tennis Academy days, if I ever attended one. The game looks nice. The demo demolished me. I think I need practice and a playstation move controller.

  • You had me at Agassi mullet.

  • The move support sounds pretty sweet!

  • Nice. I’m loving the demo but wished it was longer. As soon as I see some review scores, I will most definitely buy this. Go Roger Federer!

  • Why are they using a samsung t.v? and what looks like an xbox controller?

  • Hi guys, feel free to ask any questions. I am here for the day.

  • The most disappointing thing about the Move implementation in the demo was that you don’t control the direction with your swing :(. Any chance you will patch that in? That’s what’s currently stopping me from getting this game. I was so excited about getting an awesome tennis game for the Move (I’m an avid tennis player and follower of the sport) but not being able to control the direction of the ball by timing your swing differently is really sad. They did table tennis so well in Sports Champions, I wish the same philosophy would have been applied here. And why do you need to hold down the trigger to do a slice? I wish I could just do a slice motion to perform a slice. Holding RT while swinging back to make a slice doesn’t make any sense to me. The Move is supposed to put you in the game! I understand you want to appeal to casual tennis players, but there should be a mode for us who know the sport. Especially considering that this is more of a sim game than the other tennis game coming out.

    • Interesting. I didn’t have a similar experience, as timing seemed to affect where the ball was going along with the velocity. I will ask if there’s a way we can make this even more intuitive for our hardcore tennis players.

    • I see why we may be having differences. Have you tried aiming with your Nav controller? Along with timing and the gesture for spin/power/control as Remi spoke about above, aim is dictated by the Nav controller as well. Maybe I took that as obvious because it felt most natural for me.

  • I didn’t find the Move controls accessible or intuitive like Sports Champions Table Tennis. Instead of swinging and seeing the same reaction on screen I have to learn gestures that aren’t entirely natural and feel equivalent to unresponsive button presses. It doesn’t properly take advantage of what Move’s capable of.

    • Repeating my last comment, I haven’t heard many reports of people having this experience, that it makes sense. But I will discuss with the dev team how to hone this further.

  • the demo was great and the move worked perfectly. im going to pick this up

  • yea im a big tennis fan and ive been playing Virtua Tennis so im glad there is an updated tennis game and im a 2k fan (Sorry EA i dont like you) so i thinking of getting this, i just want to be sure online game play is smooth too, i have the move and navigator controller nd im in a wheelchair so the sitting and plai=ying part sounds good, just hope its doable but if not im still rock it with the DS3.. looks great though thanks!

  • does the demo support Playstation Move? id like to try it out b4 gettin the game…

  • love the game but i just can’t wear those glasses GRRRRRRRRR
    i have been to different stores to try out the 3d glasses but they always feel so darn uncomfortable. Sure i would love to buy a 3d tv but the glasses are killing me.
    (my vision is 20\20 no problems & i don’t wear glasses)
    I guess i have to wait until they make 3d tv’s that don’t require glasss :(

  • im sorry not to be a mean or a troll, but who ever chose the song for the video is an idiot, that song is and forever will be associated with back to the future and you cant use it for anything else… im sorry

  • @ 12

    Hahaha, I was thinking that after I watched the video. I’m like NOW I need to go watch the Back to the Future Trilogy.

    • It’s an iconic song. As a huge fan of the Back to the Future trilogy, we hope that it’s also eventually remembered for Top Spin 4 as well :-).

  • Hei Ronnie!

    Loved the demo. Just wondered if gameplay sliders are in the game?


    • Hey MJordan,
      NBA 2K11 fan? Haha. “Sliders”, that you are probably familiar with in our VC games (NBA/MLB/NHL 2K), are not in Top Spin as you know them from those games. But we have a ton of difficulty settings that should let you play at many different levels.

  • From what I have heard and read the impressions, the game doesn’t do a 1:1 tracking like Sports Champion which I think has the best motion controls for a sports game. I was really hoping for a tennis game that does 1:1 and gives you full control just like table tennis in Sports Champion. Hope you guys can patch this for a 1:1 tracking with minimal to no assists.

  • I agree with some others the control should be more like Sports Champion. I tried the demo several times and didn’t like how the controls are setup (press l1 to do a diff shot etc).

    Using the move didn’t make it fun it actually was the oppostie.

    I was exicted about the prospect of control the player movement with the PS Nav. but it felt weird in the end.

    • I would definitely experience this for yourself. This is what a demo is for and we continue to collect feedback.

      Scorpio, outside of the Move controller, are you enjoying our other features?

  • Everyone!!!! If you are going too buy Top Spin for the move gameplay DONT. Buy Virtua Tennis 4 instead their you can atleast swing the direction you want too shot at instead of using the navigation controller.

    And i got 1question. WHY WHY WHY is not the Swedish player Robin Söderling in the game????

  • Hey Ronnie, are you indian? I am.

  • “+ Ronnie Singh on March 14th, 2011 at 1:44 pm said:
    We didn’t want to take away from the control of using a regular controller as Remi said above.”

    Then don’t do it at all. Half a**ed move controls suck even more. Why not have separate controls for MOVE and analog? It is possible but I guess needs time and effort.

  • What is career mode like in terms of realism?. When you go along and upgrade your status does it mirror the real ATP season with mutliple seasons and world rankings where you can go up and down based on your play? I’m assuming to attain the legend status you have to become #1 (and win all majors) and does the career end then or can you keep going and play as many seasons as you want.

  • I think HD TVs are better than 3D they said a lot of people are getting seizures because they were watching a 3D screen for too long on nintendo 3DS, and sony’s 3D no glasses TV is the same thing only bigger.

  • Does the game have the same drifting problem with the move controller as the shoot, and killzone 3 does? I can play those two games without the sharp shooter, but because of the drift to the right magic of the move controllers that no one seems to have an explanation for it is impossible with something like the sharp shooter that requires it to be correct :( I don’t seem to notice any issues with the fight, so I was curious if this game will be ok.

    • Yes I don’t think you’ll have those issues from playing it personally. I haven’t played Killzone though so unfortunately, I can’t give you an honest basis for comparison.

  • hmm seems interesting will have to try out the demo!

  • Thanks for Responding Ronnie…

    I thought the presentation was great players looked great and moved well.

    Just for you responding I will give the demo another try tonight but without the Move controller.

  • Guys, as much as I like tennis on videogames I think the Move support was confusing… Waving my arms to start a swing was Ok but moving the character with the Nav controller was bloody awful… I think moving your own body would be more realistic… Doesn’t the PS Eye have this ability? Just saying ;)

  • Glad there’s PS Move support. Time to get a 2nd Move controller.

  • The game looks good, I am going to pick it up tomorrow mullet dlc and all. Even there were many small touches in the demo that impressed me with the signature style animations. I played it quite a bit and can now comfortably win on hard with the aids on. The depth in the game really seems to be there and I am excited to finally play Pete Sampras in a game with this level of depth and animation quality, sorry GrandSlam Tennis, you were underwhelming.

    The Move controls for me I think will be reserved to local multiplayer, outside of that i doubt anyone wants to grind through career mode swinging their arms around for hours upon hours.

    The career and online 2k open stuff looks amazing.
    if you want a casual move tennis game i think VT4 is targeting that with their super jarring 3rd to 1st view camera system. I personally don’t want to be swinging my arms for hours and hours, i’ll go and play real tennis. Don’t act like Sports Champions Table tennis was perfect, it has a horrible serve mechanic and brutal middle zone of the table for returning. (My fav game for that one despite those flaws)

    Please WIMBLEDON and Match Commentary for 5!

  • There are very few games that do things “right” with PS Move. I’m hoping to change my mind with some more practice, but in the demo I found that the controls were a little not quite responsive enough. Specifically, when a ball was just out of range, I would try to swing for it, and the on-screen player would simply be giving up. With buttons, that was fine, because I KNEW I was hitting the button, and thus I KNEW that the ball was out of reach. Now I actually swing my arm, and receive no response. As a player, this tends to make me question 2 things:

    A) Am I swinging the controller “right”? (based on Sports Champions Table Tennis, this shouldn’t be an issue, but based on other poor implementations, it could still be an issue)
    B) Is the PS Eye camera “losing” the PS Move during my swing?

    It is one of the challenges of 1:1 motion tracking, I know, and I like to BELIEVE that Top Spin is just being algorithmically “smart” in its detection/behavior, but the problem is the lack of feedback on PS Move makes me second-guess the Move’s accuracy. And The Fight: Lights Out proves that accuracy should not be an issue.

  • I bought this game yesterday before playing the demo. After playing the demo it is going right back to Amazon. Terrible game play and surely not worth paying $60. For all of that are considering this game for Move capability, do yourself a favor and try the demo first!

  • Great next lets make a 3-D cheerleader game. Wearing 3D glasses while swinging a glow-stick(move controller). Love it.

  • Thanks for answering and sorry for the late reply! Yes, I am aware of being able to direct the shot with the nav controller but just like with using the RT to perform a slice choice it doesn’t feel like tennis strokes. I’ll refer to Sports Champions again because there if I hit the ball late with my forehand (inside out) the ball would go to the right, and if I hit it early, it would go to the left. It felt very intuitive and that was my slight disappointment with Top Spin 4 since I view it as _the_ most realistic tennis franchise. While that other tennis game is arcadey, Top Spin has always been a bit more about realism. I appreciate all the effort the team has put into this game, I just hope that somehow my voice is heard and you can implement more realistic Move strokes with a patch. It would make a world of difference to the experience, especially for us who know how to play the game.

  • … And I love this game!!! Needed time to get used to controllers and playing with Move, but after few hours everything seemed fine. Have been playing it for 7 hours, LOVE IT !!! Wish there were more female tennis players in the game tho, maybe if they had Maria Sharapova, you guys would like the game better :) xoxoxoxo

  • hmmmm thinking of this

  • this game was a dissappointment concerning the ps3 move.

    all you have to do is waggle the stick like the wii.

    it doesn’t take into consideration if you are doing a backhand or forehand.

    it doesn’t consider the angle nor rotation of the racket.

    i have read that virtua tennis does. i hope they do it right. i also hope they get rid of that silly third person view to 1st person view switching back and forth.

    hopefully top spin devs will patch the game with real move controls….. then i’d love to get it.

  • nor does it consider the speed of your swing or it’s power.

  • I just got the full game. I’ve just played the academy and it seems the PS Move is indeed about useless. Only the navigation controller is used for precision while the move is made for those action. The player also doesn’t move his arms when you swing the move when there’s no ball. He only responds when a ball is near the racket. And then it doesn’t care if you swing at the ball or swing up or down, even sideways. It doesn’t matter. it hits just fine if you use the navigational controller to guide the direction. A doorhandle would be suffice for actions like these.

    I’m also disappointed by the graphics. The enviroments look quite dead, no movement in the trees and bushes that make the game feel alive. It looks rather like it was copied from the last generation console versions.

    Seems like a great game on other levels. But for someone looking forward to using his PS Move more, this isn’t the game. At all, go get Tiger Woods 12 or wait for Virtua Tennis 4.

  • The move seemed like an afterthought that top spin devs didn’t want to implement but had to because of the demand for move, especially for a sport like tennis that is perfect for the move. I see and agree with how the top spin team tried to implement the move. By only using the move for timing/racquet speed/top spin, the game can retain the player signature styles and include some aspects of real tennis which are timing/racquent speed/top spin. And i think ppl have miss conceptions. I read comments saying that you can do backhand or forehand motion for a forehand. This is because of the “Inside out” feature. Players like sampras always tried to run around his backhand to hit an inside-out forehand.

  • Top spin strives to be and is the best tennis simulation. That is why the developers did not want to implement 1:1 move controls. Personally I agree with them. I play the game because I want to play as sampras against agassi or federer against nadal. Which means the player i control needs to play like sampras. If the player I control responded 1:1 to my motions than it would no longer be federer’s signature style forehand/backhand etc. Than why even bother signing for these player rights for the game and capturing their signature styles? With the move I will only be controlling an empty shell that looks like federer. The move seemed like an afterthought that top spin devs didn’t want to implement but had to because of the demand for move, especially for a sport like tennis that is perfect for the move.

  • looking forward to playing this with my move! should get my copy early next week. watch out for my review on shortly thereafter. can the game be played without the navigation controller (or left side of the dual shock 3) as the picture suggests? otherwise it’s false advertising wouldn’t you say?

  • 1:1 aren’t necessary but proper motion requirements are. You hardly need to move the Move at all. Just a slight twitch in any direction is usually enough. The controls haven’t been adjusted for proper Move playing. This is why you never really feel like the Move is actually adding anything to game. You don’t have to swing like a tennis player at all, which is the point of a tennis game.

    The movement shown in the picture of two players using the Move is copied from a different game with a TS4 screenshot inserted, ’cause you only have to move your wrist to use it for this game and like tom110584 said it lacks use the navigational controller as well. And it’s the navigational controller that does all the work in the first plays and thus you can’t play it without.

    So unless you really like holding the Move without having to move it like in a proper Move supported game you won’t be using it more than 10 minutes. I’ve been playing with the DS3 for quite a while now and I’m loving it.

  • 1:1 controls aren’t necessary but proper motion requirements are. You hardly need to move the Move at all. Just a slight twitch in any direction is usually enough. The controls haven’t been adjusted for proper Move playing. This is why you never really feel like the Move is actually adding anything to game. You don’t have to swing like a tennis player at all, which is the point of a tennis game.

    The movement shown in the picture of two players using the Move is copied from a different game with a TS4 screenshot inserted, ’cause you only have to move your wrist to use it for this game and like tom110584 said it lacks use the navigational controller as well. And it’s the navigational controller that does all the work in the first place and thus you can’t play without it.

    So unless you really like holding the Move without having to move it like in a proper Move supported game you won’t be using it more than 10 minutes. I’ve been playing with the DS3 for quite a while now and I’m loving it.

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