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Wii Sports (series)

REDMOND, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The five beloved sports from the original Wii Sports game – bowling, tennis, baseball, boxing and golf – are making a dramatic and competitive return on Wii U. Starting today, two of the five sports – tennis and bowling – are now available in the Nintendo eShop on Wii U.

The sports are being released individually as downloads in the Nintendo eShop, and feature HD graphics, enhanced controls via Wii MotionPlus technology, as well as a much-requested online multiplayer versus mode, so users with broadband Internet access can face off against friends and family members online. Players can choose to associate themselves with various state or regional clubs and can send messages to one another via Miiverse. People can play casually against members of their own club, or take on members of rival clubs to increase their club rankings.

Wii Sports Club is being made available digitally as individual chunks. Tennis and bowling will be available as separate downloads later this week, followed by baseball, golf, and boxing down the line.

Despite this release model, Wii Sports Club could launch as a physical product in the future. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata wouldn’t rule out the possibility during the company’s investor Q&A last week.

He said:

The following is an excerpt from the latest round of Iwata Asks about the development of Wii Sports Club. Specifically, these quotes relate to the game’s online functionality (Miiverse included) and how the team (including folks from Namco Bandai, who helped the game along) tackled various issues that they came across:

“When we thought about how we want people to have fun with Wii Sports on the new hardware, the Wii U console, there was no way, given the expectations, that we couldn’t prepare online gaming. So as we began development, we set online gameplay of Tennis — the representative sport of Wii Sports — as our first goal. [We wanted to] pour our energy into how we could make [online gaming] fun.”

“In a typical online game, the information of the button presses are sent to your opponent, and the inputs are synchronized between the players, but for this game you have to send complex information from the gyro sensor and accelerometer of the Wii Remote Plus controllers, in addition to information from the buttons, which was a brand new challenge.”

– Nintendo EAD Takayuki Shimamura

Specifically regarding Miiverse:

“So we thought about how [Miiverse] should work. But if we were to simply implement Miiverse to a sporting game, the winners would probably write cheerful comments like ‘Yay! I won!’ But I bet the losers would hardly write anything at all, like ‘Oh I’m so frustrated I lost.’ We were concerned that Miiverse would become a cruel place. We also thought many people who play Wii Sports would have never played competitive games online.”

“Everyone has a hometown or someplace where they live, so we thought about setting it up in a way as if at first you join the sports club in the area where you live, and if we made sports clubs for the various states and provinces, each of the regions could compete.”

– Nintendo EAD Takayuki Shimamura

Via Polygon

When the Wii Sports Club app makes its way to the eShop early next month, players will be able to obtain the download for free. Keep in mind though that you’ll need to fork over $2 for a Day Pass or $10 for permanent ownership.

Nintendo is also including a free 24 hour trial for all Wii U owners. That means you won’t have to spend any cash during the first day that you use Wii Sports Club.

Nintendo has also confirmed, per the latest Iwata Asks, that you’ll receive another free 24 hours when each new sport becomes available. That means you’ll earn a free 24 hours when baseball launches, another 24 hours when golf arrives, and a final 24 hours when boxing becomes available. This allows players to sample the different sports without forcing an immediate purchase.

You can read more about this, as well as an explanation of Wii Sports Club’s pricing, after the break courtesy of the latest Iwata Asks.

Wii Sports Club wasn’t an entirely internal effort from Nintendo. Revealed in the latest Iwata Asks, the Big N ended up working with Namco Bandai on the game’s development.

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata as well as designers Kozo Makino and Takayuki Shimamura spoke about the decision to bring in Namco Bandai for the creation of Wii Sports Club. The group stated:

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