Codex Gamicus

Konami's Ping Pong is a sports arcade game created in 1985 by Konami. The game is noted as the first video game to accurately reflect the gameplay of table tennis, as opposed to earlier over-simplifications like Pong. As with other Konami titles of the time, it was ported to several 8-bit computer systems and video game consoles.


File:Konami Ping Pong.png

Arcade screenshot

Konami's Ping Pong can be played singleplayer or multiplayer, using 11 point scoring rules; the first player to attain a score of 11 or higher, leading by two points, wins the game (to a maximum of 14-14, at which point the next point wins). The player must win the best of two out of three games in order to beat the match. The playfield is shown from an isometric perspective with the players shown as disembodied hands; players placed on the far-side of the table will find hitting the ball is much more difficult.[original research?] However, the player is always positioned on the near side during the single player mode. All the essential moves are represented: forehand, backhand, lob, and smash.


The game features the penguin protagonist from Konami's earlier title Antarctic Adventure on the title screen and as a member of the audience in the game. This penguin would be later be known as Pentarou. In the introductory animation, a pingpong ball bounces along the table, and finally hits Pentarou on the head, who appears to faint.


In 1985 the game was released by Konami for MSX computers and in 1986 the game was ported to the Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum by Imagine Software and Bernie Duggs, under the name Ping Pong. Apart from scaled-down graphics and sound due to limited system capabilities, the ports perfectly replicate the arcade gameplay.

In 1987 the game was ported to the Famicom Disk System as Smash Ping Pong and published by Nintendo. Nintendo's character Donkey Kong Jr. replaces Konami's Pentarou in the crowd. It was later re-released on the Wii Virtual Console in Japan and the PAL region (the latter got this as an import game under the title Smash Table Tennis).

Smash Ping Pong is slated for release on the Nintendo 3DS, and may feature camera support, 3D support, or analog support. This release was featured amongst other games from the Nintendo Entertainment System and Super NES to be released for the 3DS on a tech demo called Classic Games at E3 2010.[1]

Konami's Ping Pong was made available on Microsoft's Game Room service for its Xbox 360 console and for Windows-based PCs in June 2010.


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