Building on its high-def debut in 2007, Sega's respected Virtua Tennis game returns to the virtual courts on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and in a PC download. The series' simple control scheme and realistic action are bolstered with refinements to serving, volleying, and net play, and the added possibility for players to stumble brings new challenges and opportunities in the heat of the match. Console and computer gamers can play as and against more than 20 real-life tennis superstars, including Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova, Venus Williams, and series newcomers such as Andy Murray and Ana Ivanovic. Singles, doubles, and mixed doubles play is available, and gamers can customize their own contender, from facial features to wardrobe, using the Player Creation tools. Virtua Tennis 2009 offers a full World Tour mode and features the Davis Cup championships. Away from the serious tennis action, a dozen lighthearted "Court Game" mini-games are featured in Virtua Tennis 2009, involving fast-paced tennis ball battles against ornery pirates or hungry zoo animals, and other silliness.
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Virtua Tennis 2009 features several international tennis stars like Roger Federer, Boris Becker or Maria Sharapova against which the player needs to compete against or play with in the heart of the game: The World Tour. The player creates his own character from scratch and plays to reach the number one rank on the world ranking list.
As its predecessor Virtua Tennis 3, Virtua Tennis 2009 is not a hardcore simulation of the sport and only needs three buttons to perform all possible shots. Still time needs to be invested in training the character through practice matches, specific training sessions at the Tennis Academy and 12 different kinds of mini-games. These include "Pirate Wars" which requires the player to hit and sink moving pirate ships and "Shopping Dash" where the player needs to collect items on the tennis floor while avoiding balls thrown at him. These mini-games, as well as the normal singles and double matches can also be played with/against friends.
This paper proposes an Integrated MDP and POMDP Learning AgeNT (IMPLANT) architecture for adaptation in modern games. The modern game world basically involves a human player acting in a virtual environment, which implies that the problem can be decomposed into two parts, namely a partially observable player model, and a completely observable game environment. With this concept, the IMPLANT architecture extracts both a POMDP and MDP abstract model from the underlying game world. The abstract action policies are then pre-computed from each model and merged into a single optimal policy. Coupled with a small amount of online learning, the architecture is able to adapt both the player and the game environment in plausible pre-computation and query times. Empirical proof of concept is shown based on an implementation in a tennis video game, where the IMPLANT agent is shown to exhibit a superior balance in adaptation performance and speed, when compared against other agent implementations.
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe announced the PlayStation 3 Slim, a smaller and lighter model of the console and a release date of 1 September 2009. Firmware 3.0 for the PlayStation 3 was also announced, adding new features to the PlayStation Network. Sony announced that the European Video Store would launch in November 2009. Sony also announced that the PlayStation Portable would get smaller games (under 100mb) in the form of 'minis' and that comics would also be available to download in December 2009. A "free game" registration promotion was announced for the PSP Go. 2b1af7f3a8