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Sony's High Velocity Bowling started 'literally right before' Nintendo announced Wii Sports' Bowling


MTV ninja Stephen Totilo infiltrated the tooth-decaying sugar-fluff of Sony Gamers' Day and shoved his mic into High Velocity Bowling developer Scott Rohde's face, asking him the tough question: Dude, like, you know everyone's sayin' you just copied Nintendo ... so, like, you did, right? Maybe not. With the lens carefully trained on his San Diego tan, Rohde's fired back with a little-known factoid, "Before we knew that Wii Bowling was coming out we were building [High Velocity], absolutely." You sure about that, Scott? 'Cause Nintendo confirmed 'Bowling' back in September '06. "We started working on it, literally, right before that ... and we had a prototype up in place when [Wii Sports] came out," alleged Rohde.

But why argue about who was first to the gimmick? Considering price, Wii Sports and High Velocity are categorically different. Wii Sports is free, but as a PSN title, High Velocity will likely cost in the $5-to-10 range (and planned expansion packs could balloon the total price). If Rohde's statements are accurate, then High Velocity will end up more akin to Rockstar's Table Tennis or maybe the Outlaw sports series, as it will apparently feature a more robust physics engine than Wii Sports and pre-built unlockable characters. Wii's Bowling will ultimately be matched up against PlayStation Home's built-in bowling game, which is being developed separately from High Velocity, but, like the others, will probably incorporate motion controls.

Accusations that Sony has fallen back on a "Mii-too" strategy are partly fueled by fears that Sony's Home products are gonna trump what Nintendo has already laid down. By screaming "Copy cat!", Nintendo faithful are downplaying Sony's efforts -- even crediting Nintendo for Sony's possible future success. But if Nintendo was so convinced that its latest 'innovations' would inspire the future direction of the industry, then the company must have possessed the foresight to predict near-identical products arriving from its competitors. And if so, then maybe Nintendo needed to try a little harder. Are we not already bored with parading our Miis? Are fanboys so insecure about Nintendo's stability that they fear competition? Get stuck on who invented motion-controlled bowling games first and you miss the point: which virtual bowling experience is the best.

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