Virtua Tennis 3 - hands-on

We've been waiting for this one a very long time. Virtua Tennis and its sequel defined the racquet genre, giving us more multiplayer fun than the real thing could ever offer - and without the need for physical exertion. Virtua Tennis 3, you'll be happy to know, gives to players even more generously than Sharapova gives to grunt fetishists.

The game was running at TGS in full progressive mode - polystyrene labels taped to the Sony monitors confirmed 'Full 1080p, 60FPS' by way of a great boast - and it looked even lovelier than we'd expected it to. We wanted to sink our eyes into it just as Tim Henman circa Virtua Tennis 2 apparently wanted to sink his Dracula teeth into anyone around him. Virtua Tennis 3 is almost too pretty.

The giving really happens in the game itself, though. The World Tour mode is a greatly expanded version of previous titles' Career modes: international players now develop friendships with each other, exchanging words of wisdom after matches, and encourage their friends on towards a grand slam. And, of course, there are more players and more venues, but our demo was limited to the main events such as Wimbledon.