Blake vs. Sharapova: Top Spin 3 Wii premieres at the 2008 Sony Ericsson Open

Ah, cross-promotion: only the true geniuses in the field of marketing can pull it off. Or something. I don’t know, I’ve never studied or worked in the industry. But I do know videogames, and I also know that having them at an event — especially when the game won’t be out at retail for another two months or so — is guaranteed to bring out some fans.

2K Sports did just this on Wednesday at the 2008 Sony Ericsson Open in Miami. (I wonder if Niero and Colette went…) They brought out the Wii version of Top Spin 3 and showed it off for the first time in spectacular fashion. The video from the event includes tennis stars like Maria Sharapova, James Blake, Gaël Monfils, and Svetlana Kuznetsova duking it out with Wiimotes instead of real tennis rackets.

Strangely, the video features no gameplay footage from the Wii version (the footage that it does have looks way too good to have come from the Wii version, i.e., it was probably taken from the PS3 or 360 versions). I guess they’re not ready to bring it to the masses quite yet.

Still, the three-minute video incorporates some interviews with Francois Giuntini, the creative director at PAM Development (the developer of the game), as well as Anthony DeLuca, a producer from 2K. They discuss the feature set of the game (naturally, it includes “family-friendly” mini-games), and the improvements it makes over Top Spin 2. Check out the video after the jump, along with the press release and three photos from the premiere.

Top Spin 3 will be out for the PS3, 360, Wii, and DS on May 20th. Head on over to www.topspin3thegame.com for more information.

Maria Sharapova and James Blake Face Off at Premiere of 2K Sports’ Top Spin 3 Video Game

Miami, FL (March 27, 2008) — While tennis fans clamored for a spot at the 2008 Sony Ericsson Open in Miami to see the pros play, it was the virtual court action that added a new twist to the festivities. 2K Sports hosted a special event on March 26th in which the hottest tennis sensations, including Maria Sharapova and James Blake, played Top Spin 3, the highly anticipated video game featuring their likenesses.

Top Spin 3 is heralded as the industry’s most realistic tennis experience and the Sony Ericsson Open provided the ideal backdrop to showcase the game, since it features many of the pros who were competing. The video game challenge featured tennis greats going virtual racket to virtual racket against each other in the first public display of Top Spin 3 on the Wii™ home video game system. Throughout the Top Spin 3 event, spectators experienced every adrenaline-fueled, Wii Remote™ shot as the tennis professionals battled their way to virtual tennis supremacy.

Created by 2K’s PAM Development, Top Spin 3 will be available May 20, 2008 for Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system, Wii™ home video game system, and Nintendo DS™.

For more information on Top Spin 3, visit www.2kSports.com.

Samit Sarkar