Tennis (1984 video game)

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North American NES cover art
Developer(s)Nintendo R&D1
Intelligent Systems[4]
Producer(s)Masayuki Uemura
Designer(s)Shigeru Miyamoto[5]
Programmer(s)Kenji Nakajima
Composer(s)Yukio Kaneoka
  • Famicom/NES
    • JP: January 14, 1984
    • NA: October 18, 1985
    • EU: September 1, 1986
    Vs. Tennis (arcade)
  • List of re-releases
    • PC-88:
      • JP: June 1985
    • Sharp X1:
    • MZ-1500:
    • Famicom Disk System:
      • JP: February 21, 1986
    • Game Boy:
      • JP: May 29, 1989
      • NA: July 31, 1989
      • PAL: 1990
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer
Arcade systemNintendo VS. System

Tennis[a] is a sports video game developed by Nintendo in 1983, and released for the Family Computer (Famicom) in 1984. The arcade game version Vs. Tennis was also released for the Nintendo VS. System in 1984, becoming a hit at Japanese and American arcades that year; it was the sixth top-performing arcade game of 1984 in the United States. Tennis is one of 17 launch games for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in North America and Europe. The game was re-released for the Game Boy as a launch game in North America.


The game features single-player and two-player modes for singles and doubles matches, with either competitive or cooperative gameplay. A computerized opponent's artificial intelligence can be set to one of five difficulty levels. Mario is the official.

Development and release[edit]

In 1983, the Famicom had only three launch games, and its library would total seven, including Tennis. Shigeru Miyamoto said he was "directly in charge of the character design and the game design".[5] The game was developed in 1983.[2]

In 1984, it was included in the Nintendo VS. System arcade game series under the name Vs. Tennis[b], which released in Japan on January 18, 1984.[2] In 1985, Hudson Soft published Tennis for the PC-8801.[7][additional citation(s) needed] It was re-released for the North American launch of the Nintendo Entertainment System in October 1985. Nintendo ported the game to the Game Boy in 1989, and to the Nintendo e-Reader in 2002.

The NES version is embedded in the life simulation game Animal Crossing (2001), and in the party video game WarioWare: Twisted! (2004) as one of 9-Volt's minigames. For the Virtual Console, Nintendo republished the NES version to the Wii in 2006 and the Wii U in 2013 and the Game Boy version to the Nintendo 3DS in 2011.[8][9][10] This version was added to Nintendo Switch Online in late 2018.[11]


In Japan, Game Machine listed VS. Tennis in its March 15, 1984 issue as the most successful table arcade cabinet of the month.[12] It again topped the Game Machine table arcade game charts in April[13] and May 1984.[14] In the United States, Vs. Tennis topped the arcade software conversion kit charts of RePlay (July 1984)[15] and Play Meter (August 1984).[16] It became the sixth top-performing arcade game of 1984 in the United States.[17] In Europe, it had become a very popular arcade game by 1986.[3]


  1. ^ Japanese: テニス, Hepburn: Tenisu
  2. ^ Japanese: VS. テニス, Hepburn: Bāsasu Tenisu


  1. ^ "The Vs. Challenge". RePlay. Vol. 11, no. 3. December 1985. p. 5.
  2. ^ a b Edgeley, Clare (December 16, 1986). "Arcade Action". Computer and Video Games. No. 63 (January 1987). United Kingdom: EMAP. pp. 138–9. ISSN 0261-3697.
  3. ^ "INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS CO., LTD. ゲームソフト". Archived from the original on August 25, 2008.
  4. ^ a b Kohler, Chris. "Miyamoto Spills Donkey Kong's Darkest Secrets, 35 Years Later". Wired. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  5. ^ "Nico Nico Rarities: Tennis for MZ-1500". YouTube. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  6. ^ "NEC-8801". Retro Games (in Portuguese). No. 1. 2003. p. 53. Retrieved December 3, 2023.
  7. ^ "Nintendo - Official Site - Video Game Consoles, Games - Nintendo - Official Site".
  8. ^ "Nintendo - Official Site - Video Game Consoles, Games - Nintendo - Official Site".
  9. ^ "Nintendo - Official Site - Video Game Consoles, Games - Nintendo - Official Site".
  10. ^ "Guide: Nintendo Switch Online FAQ - Everything We Know So Far". Nintendo Life. May 11, 2018. Retrieved May 13, 2018.
  11. ^ "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25 - テーブル型TVゲーム機 (Table Videos)" (PDF). Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 232. Amusement Press, Inc. March 15, 1984. p. 31.
  12. ^ "Best Hit Games 25" (PDF). Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 233. Amusement Press, Inc. April 1, 1984. p. 27.
  13. ^ "Best Hit Games 25" (PDF). Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 235. Amusement Press, Inc. May 1, 1984. p. 29.
  14. ^ "RePlay: The Players' Choice". RePlay. July 1984.
  15. ^ "National Play Meter". Play Meter. August 15, 1984.
  16. ^ "Top 20 Performing Video Games of 1984". Play Meter. Vol. 10, no. 20. November 1, 1984. p. 47.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]