News Article

Wii Sports Club Is The Handiwork Of Namco Bandai, With Nintendo Assisting

Posted by Damien McFerran

External studio was instrumental in getting online Tennis working

It has been revealed during the latest Iwata Asks that Namco Bandai is handling development duties on the forthcoming Wii Sports Club.

The selection of sporting titles — upscaled and improved from the Wii originals — joins the ever-increasing list of Nintendo franchises to be handled by an external studio. However, as the interviewed members of Nintendo's Software & Planning Department — Kozo Makino, Ryonosuke Suzuki and Takayuki Shimamura — revealed, the company had a more hands-on role than was originally intended:

Kozo Makino: We asked Namco Bandai Studios to develop it, so I first participated as a coordinator. But in the end, I got into just about anything. I mainly worked on the network aspect of the game, but at times I made suggestions on how some features should turn out to be.

Ryonosuke Suzuki: At first, I was a coordinator too, serving as contact for Namco Bandai Studio and dealing with overseas subsidiaries in localizing the overseas versions, but eventually, like Makino-san, I was doing anything I could.

Takayuki Shimamura: From the middle of development, Makino-san and Suzuki-san were also working as full-fledged planners. We did ask Namco Bandai Studio to develop the game this time, but staff in Nintendo's Network Development & Operations Department--the Software Planning & Development Department that these two are in--and EAD also chipped in.

Interestingly, it has also been revealed that Namco Bandai has been instrumental in making the online mode in Tennis a reality:

Makino: 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.

Satoru Iwata: And in Tennis, there may be four people on the court at once.

Makino: Yes. At first, we were uneasy about whether we could really do it, but we tossed around all kinds of ideas with Namco Bandai Studio.

Shimamura: We then decided to test some of the ideas, and the one we eventually adopted was an idea suggested by a communications programmer at Namco Bandai Studio. Thanks to that, we were able to pull it off.

[via iwataasks.nintendo.com]

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User Comments (32)

Freakazoid

#1

Freakazoid said:

I cant wait to get this and i like the online idea withe clubs but i wonder if they got a club for every town or just the biggest cities. And if not with how mich population u got to get ur own club in ur city. But dtill i like the idea
So when was the release set or was there even a date announced?

Big_L91

#2

Big_L91 said:

maybe you can make your own clubs?
so there definitely incorporating Motion+ into this then?
thats good i didnt think they would.

cookiex

#3

cookiex said:

I'll be trying out the game when it arrives on my birthday. :) It's been long since I've touched Wii Sports.

boynerdrambling

#4

boynerdrambling said:

And that should shut up those people complaining that nintendo was "wasting their time" developing this inatead of new games. Their clearly getting other devs to do with sort of thing while working on their own new games

Buduski

#6

Buduski said:

Nintendo and online has a good sound to it, I know there main focus is still local multiplayer but I hope they really try going more online multiplayer this time around

NintyMan

#7

NintyMan said:

So Namco-Bandai isn't only helping with Super Smash Bros., then? They must increasingly be getting Nintendo's trust, especially now that they helped online Wii Sports become a reality.

It looks like Golf and Boxing are going to have to wait a little, so I'll be getting bowling first.

Spanjard

#8

Spanjard said:

This Wii sports club seems to be a real good idea. I am pretty excited to play some of these online :)

Icarus423

#11

Icarus423 said:

Since Nintentdo and Namco Bandai are being friendly, they should totally get Tales of Symphonia Chronicles on Wii U.

Gerbwmu

#12

Gerbwmu said:

Maybe new business model.....you give us some games we find you extra work for bonus cash.......

Hyperstar96

#14

Hyperstar96 said:

I'm so glad they decided to make Wii Sports online instead of something that would clearly have no use for it like 3D World or Nintendo Land...

eye twitch

Araknie

#15

Araknie said:

I don't play online only games, i like the idea, and i scold Nintendo Life for still having only Nintendo on the developers list in the infos for this game.

LUIGITORNADO

#16

LUIGITORNADO said:

Hey, Nintendo, since you're so chummy with NB, how about you ask them to bring games like, Dark Souls 2, instead of crap like this?

cyrus_zuo

#18

cyrus_zuo said:

Super excited about this.
I'm looking forward to more info about how the clubs work. I don't think Nintendo will say any more before release.
Amazing and disapointing that Nintendo seems to be doing a stealth release of this and WiiFit U. It's like they don't want the public to know about it!

rjejr

#19

rjejr said:

How much help could NB need w/ developing this game? Play the original, update the graphics to HD, add online.

And this still looks like the Virtua Tennis graphics on the Dreamcast 13 years ago. I know Nintendo likes their cartoon Mii look, but haven't graphics improved over 13 years?

Found you guys a British accent review :-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHZ3CGXOBbY

Anyway, we'll pick it up for $10. I think that's what I need to meet my Deluxe promo quota to earn $5.

And as always - good job calling it Wii Sports Club and not Wii Sports U. Though if they dropped the Wii name entirely that wold help also.

WiiLovePeace

#20

WiiLovePeace said:

I'm tonnes pumped to play Wii Tennis against randoms across the world :D It's going to be tonnes of fun! :D & bowling etc. but I'm most excited to play tennis :D

Rococoman

#21

Rococoman said:

Wii sports is the best-selling console game IN THE WORLD, and Nintendo farms out the half-baked sequel.

THIS. This is why Wii U is getting battered around. Nobody is going to follow your innovations if you can't even be bothered to do it yourself.

Gerbwmu

#22

Gerbwmu said:

I say farm out as much of the lesser titles as you can......I know best selling game ever.....but lets get real....this is a fun game that everyone has fun playing but it isn't one of the main titles. It also gives profit to 3rd or indie parties and allows them some room to lose on Wii U titles in the future. To me this is a great business move that should help in the short and long term......if Nintendo starts to advertise anyway.....

Ryno

#23

Ryno said:

@rjejr: How much help can NB be??? Weird question because that was what this article was about, specifically the challenges with the online part of it.

rjejr

#24

rjejr said:

@Ryno - "How much help can NB be?"

I think you might have misread my comment. I didn't ask how much help can NB "be". I asked how much help could NB "need" from Nintendo to re-make Wii Sports into an HD game w/ online added. This isn't exactly a JRPG. NB surely isn't getting help from Nintendo w/ online mulitplayer.

To me the article was about Nintendo helping NB make this game and I just don't see NB needing a lot of help for this project.

estaples

#25

estaples said:

This headline got me excited because I'm a big fan of Namco Bandai's Go Vacation for the Wii, which is the same genre (though not online) and really fun if you got to spend a bit of time with it. I would love to see their take on a Wii Sports Resort U, as the exploration elements of Go Vacation were brilliant.

Melkaticox

#26

Melkaticox said:

Oh, you mean the a-holes that rarely, if ever, publish a game on a Nintendo system and preffer to publish 95% of their games on Sony and ONLY SONY systems?
...Yeah, let's ask for their help!

ACK

#28

ACK said:

Love that they are incorporating the golf tech demo into Wii Golf. Figures, but a promising innovation nonetheless.

What stands out regarding Namco's involvement is that Nintendo has still not mastered the implementation of complex motion controls in online gameplay.

You'll notice that most, if not all, Wii games utilizing motion controls in online modes only replicate simple control functions. Specifically, those functioning similar to, and adapted from, an analog stick or button press.

The original Wii Sports was rarely replicated because, despite the then-archaic Wiimote functions, it functioned around control variables which weren't adapted from conventional inputs. This achievement proved difficult to expand upon, or even recreate (hence the proliferation of waggly methods and pointer functions).

How the game design of Wii Sports recorded and interpreted the control variables likely held the secret formula. Yet Nintendo hasn't previously taken their formula to the online marketplace; possibly akin to adapting a fine dish for fast-food consumption, I wonder if they weren't able to previously bridge those competing ingredients and ideals.

millarrp

#30

millarrp said:

I hope they will eventually expand this to the wii sports resort sports as well, because there are a few options on there that would be interesting with online leader boards or even online play. To be honest they could probably even complement this with some of the Wii Play games like table tennis, billiards, or even skipping stones from wii play motion...

SammyOfMobius

#31

SammyOfMobius said:

Nintendo's been teaming up with them a lot lately. First Mario Kart GP 1 & 2, then SSB4, then Wii Sports Club, and not to mention Mario Kart GP DX!

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