This morning we received a tip-off from our colleagues at Eurogamer.de that they had encountered substantial differences in Wii MotionPlus performance on their Wii debug review kit and their retail Wii console. Obviously this set off alarm bells - Kristan Reed had reviewed Grand Slam Tennis on a Wii debug kit.
With the gravity of that in mind, I went out and bought a boxed copy of Grand Slam Tennis and a WMP and hotfooted it round to Kristan's, where we both tested it out. Our German friends were absolutely right: there's a substantial, immediately noticeable difference between the responsiveness playing the game on a retail Wii.
As a result, I'm immediately withdrawing Eurogamer's Grand Slam Tennis review until we will publish a new review based purely on retail console play. The existing text will remain online with big whopping signposts on it that highlight the above, and once the replacement review is published, it will redirect to that.
Furthermore, while Virtua Tennis 2009 was reviewed on a retail Wii without issue, the text published today makes numerous references to Grand Slam Tennis, so until such time as the EA game is reappraised, I'm also withdrawing the VT review.
Both the new Grand Slam Tennis review and an updated Virtua Tennis 2009 review will be published on Monday.
I'd like to take this opportunity to apologise to EA Sports for the original GST review, which was clearly not representative of the product. EA has not asked us to withdraw it, nor issue this retraction, but I believe both are the right thing to do. I must also apologise to you, our patient readers, if you were misled by the mistake.
For the record, the mistake - 'catastrophe' is probably a good word, actually - was down to out-of-date firmware on our Wii debug machine, which neither our EA contacts or us apparently knew anything about. This meant that Wii MotionPlus only worked to a diminished degree during our review process. We had received the game and WMP accessory direct from EA, and reviewed GST in good faith.
We will clearly be extremely mindful of this possibility in future and be drawing up additional safeguards internally to prevent a repeat.
Once again, I'm very sorry for our mistake.
P.S. It should be pointed out that Virtua Tennis 2009 is a bit of an innocent victim in all this, and stands alone as a good game. Kristan's review text is still online, but has been amended with a caveat in similar fashion to Grand Slam Tennis until such time as it's revised.