The Beat

POSTED BY bolson ON May 4, 2009

Wii MotionPlus Q&A with Producer Thomas Singleton

1.How does Wii MotionPlus work?
In our game it's calibrating your hand motion, your WiiMote position, in relation to the sensors and after getting that calibration from the sensors, it's detecting where you are in relation from the shortest sensor point; up to down, left to right. So it truly is giving you that one-to-one control movement of your arm motion and then mapping it directly to that one-to-one movement of your character on screen. It's a complex device that simplifies what people are doing and delivers their exact motions.

2.What makes the Wii MotionPlus better or different from the Wii motion sensing we all know and love?
Specifically to EA SPORTS Grand Slam Tennis, the big differences from Wii MotionPlus to non-Wii MotionPlus are the one-to-one backswing and the ability to force your player to hit a forehand or backhand. The aiming of the ball is taken to a more literal level so where you finish your swing is where you're going to place the ball. Whether you're going cross-court or down the line, you'll feel that difference with Wii MotionPlus. In relation to wrist rotation, you can continue to curl that ball even after you make contact. But without Wii MotionPlus, you'll experience a similar level of control, just not at same level of consistency.

3.How does the use of Wii MotionPlus in Grand Slam Tennis change the way you can play tennis on the Wii?
I think Grand Slam Tennis is the most superior tennis experience with or without Wii MotionPlus. We definitely feel this represents a significant step forward for tennis on the Wii platform. To play Grand Slam Tennis is to truly perform authentic sports motions. Wii MotionPlus just takes it to an even higher level of authenticity. So it takes what's already a very compelling and rich authentic tennis gaming experience with Wii remote only, to an even higher level. The tennis experience also grows with added shot depth and pin-point ball placement as the game now recognizes racket roll and end stroke position.

4.Can the Wii MotionPlus be used with multiple players; if so, how many?
Absolutely. Up to four players can play at once and all four can use the Wii MotionPlus if they desire. Or if they prefer to play without, anyone of them can play with just the Wii remote.

5.Can I use my Wii MotionPlus when playing online?
For sure you can play with Wii MotionPlus online. Your opponent doesn't need to have it for the two of you to enjoy a fun and authentic tennis gaming experience.

6.Can you play Grand Slam Tennis without the Wii MotionPlus?
Definitely. We feel like this game will offer the deepest and richest tennis experience ever for the Wii, with or without Wii MotionPlus. It adds depth and grows the experience but is not dependent on it. Personally, I enjoy both experiences. If I want to play tennis and not have to worry about my backswing and just worry about the ball placement, I'll play without Wii MotionPlus. If I want to get 100% consistency in shot types and worry about my backswing, then I'll play with Wii MotionPlus.

7.What if you have the wii motion plus but the person you're playing with doesn't?
Having Wii MotionPlus won't necessarily make you a better player. Just like in real tennis, having the most technologically advanced racket doesn't mean you'll beat the pros! They're different experiences and it really depends on what kind of experience the user wants. That's the beauty of Grand Slam Tennis, it's as accessible or as complex as people want to make it.

8.How sensitive is the controller?
Wii MotionPlus certainly possesses great fidelity and with that, it gives users an even more authentic one-to-one motion that maps to your in-game player. It had so much fidelity that at times we have limit that fidelity to make it a compelling experience while still giving you full total control.

9.What was it like developing Grand Slam Tennis with this new functionality?
Once we got the libraries and better understood what the device does, we reverse engineered and figured out how we were going to use it. Nothing comes easy in software game development but when you put creative minds together with great technology, anything is possible.

10. Can you tell us any games that may be coming up that use Wii MotionPlus?
Grand Slam Tennis and Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 10 both utilize Wii MotionPlus and are the first EA titles that are compatible with it. We approach every product with the goal of delivering the best possible experience for that particular sport. If a sports title and the authentic motion of the gameplay controls can be enhanced through the use of Wii MotionPlus, we will explore that option.

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