Virtua Tennis 4 will feature a multiplayer mode that allows two players to play on one console without the need for splitting the screen in half. This is according to a PlayStation representative who was demoing the game after Sony's E3 press conference.

By rotating the Vita to a portrait position, one player can occupy one end of the court, and his opponent the other - with the net in the middle separating the pair. While you might assume that this would raise problems from a control perspective, the device's multi-touch functionality abolishes the need for buttons and invites a new way to play.

Holding a finger on any part of the court will prompt your player to run to that location, whilst a swipe of the screen will send the ball back to your opponent. Running a finger forwards applies top spin to the ball, whilst striking a finger backwards uses backspin. Using two fingers at once unleashes your character's smash shot.

I only got to play against the computer during my fleeting four minutes with the game, but this set up will likely remain the same for multiplayer. In single-player, button-based controls offer a traditional alternative to the touch screen. Players can swap between control methods as and when they like.

The PlayStation representative was confident the game would launch alongside the console later this year.