The first of the year's four major tennis tournaments--the 2011 Australian Open--kicked off yesterday in Melbourne. While the stars volley back and forth on the real court, gamers looking forward to the latest Top Spin title now have a release date to circle on their calendars.
Top Spin 4 will be available in North America on March 15 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii, with the European release following on March 18. Mafia II studio 2K Czech is handling development of the title.
Top Spin 4 will be a licensed title and feature the likenesses of 25 tennis stars, including Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, Rafael Nadal, Ana Ivanovic, Pete Sampras, James Black, Jelena Jankovic, Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Caroline Wozniacki.
Additionally, players' real-world on-court clothing, as well as their unique movements--which include celebration maneuvers--will be reflected via animations. Further, the game will sport many of the most popular venues in tennis, including Wimbledon, Roland Garros, Arthur Ashe Stadium, and others.
2K Sports did not say if Top Spin 4 will be compatible with Microsoft's Kinect or Sony's PlayStation Move. However, the box art for the PS3 version of the game (pictured) clearly indicates that the title will work with Sony's motion-control peripheral. Additionally, the box shows that Top Spin 4 for the PS3 will be a 3D-compatible title. Unfortunately, the box art for the Xbox 360 version does not offer the same revelation for Microsoft's tech.
2K Sports also today announced the Top Spin 4 cover athletes for both North America and Europe. The North American SKU will be fronted by the iconic and retired Andre Agassi, as well as Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams. As for the European box, Scottish 23-year-old Andy Murray, former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic (who lost an early round thriller today), and French Open wizard Rafael Nadal will front this year's game. The cover athletes for Top Spin 3 were Maria Sharapova, Andy Roddick, and Roger Federer.
The Top Spin series started out as a Microsoft-published Xbox exclusive in 2003, before the original title in the series was ported to the PC and PlayStation 2 in 2004 and 2005. This was followed by Top Spin 2 in 2006--for the Xbox 360, PC, and portable platforms--and Top Spin 3 in 2008, which was released on the Xbox 360, PC, and Nintendo DS, as well as being the first outing for the series on the PS3.