In a recent Ask the Developer interview, Nintendo Switch Sports developer’s divulged a lot of information regarding the game’s development, including an odd early concept.
When discussing early concept design ideas for the Wii Sports sequel, producer Takayuki Shimamura recalled, “I remember we had the most outlandish characters that looked like robots”. Art director Junji Morii noted that this was around the time the team decided to reboot the project internally, but the robot concept is further discussed.
It turns out that the player avatar would have been placed inside the robot, with the robot being the one to mimic the player’s movements with the Joy-Con’s. Morii shared a comedic anecdote on the design, claiming “at first, everyone was so excited about this robot idea that we all thought, “This could be fun!” We even made a prototype. But when we actually saw the robot on the screen and moved it around, a blanket of silence fell over everyone.”
As we know, the end result was the human models that ended up featured in the game, as well as the option to yet again play as custom-made Mii’s. However, the Mii’s were more of an undertaking this time around, requiring over 650 additional motions, as opposed to the Mii’s in the Wii titles which only had around 30 different animations. This is due to the discrepancy in resolution making the lower number of animations for the Wii Sports titles look unnatural on the higher resolution Nintendo Switch.
In NME’s four star review of the game, it was stated that “Nintendo Switch Sports brings a beloved series onto modern platforms with aplomb. Though some minigames are slightly weaker than others, some impressive standouts – namely Chambara and Football – deliver an exceptionally good time. Better yet, Nintendo Switch Sports‘ £31 price tag is cheaper than most Nintendo games, and that sort of value’s hard to argue with.”