With its wantonly violent and occasionally risqué Grand Theft Auto franchise and its "casually sadistic" Manhunt series, Rockstar Games has long been the gaming industry's bad boy. So when the publisher announced that its first next-gen game on Microsoft's Xbox 360 would be the utterly benign Rockstar Games presents Table Tennis, more than a few industry watchers were flummoxed.
However, given the success of Wii Sports, today's announcement that Table Tennis would be coming to Nintendo's next-gen console seems perfectly logical. Rockstar's Leeds studio will be developing Table Tennis for the Wii, in collaboration with the Xbox 360 version's creator, Rockstar San Diego. Leeds' prior work includes the PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 2 versions of GTA: Vice City Stories and Liberty City Stories, as well as PSP adaptations for The Warriors and Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition.
Table Tennis on the Wii will take advantage of the console's motion-sensing controls. As with the original, players will square off in a duel of power and finesse in a number of different arenas. The well-received 360 version of the game featured strikingly realistic ball physics, and used the same RAGE game engine that will be featured in Grand Theft Auto IV. Today's announcement did not mention whether or not Table Tennis on the Wii would also use the RAGE engine.
Available this fall, the Wii edition of Rockstar Games presents Table Tennis has not yet been rated or priced. In Australia, the game will be released in September and will cost A$69.95 ($61). The Xbox 360 version was rated E for Everyone and came in at a budget price of $39.99.