March 9th, 2007, 02:39 Posted By: wraggster
Despite Sony's failure to release the GPS accessory outside of Japan, they're still churning out titles that support the device. Minna no Golf Jo, developed and published by Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., will become the 5th title to support the GPS accessory. It comes after Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, MAPLUS Portable Navi, Minna no Chizu 2, and Homestar Portable. Minna no Golf is known as "Hot Shots Golf" here in North America and "Everybody's Golf" in the rest of the world.
Minna no Golf Jo, or "Everbody's Golf Course," isn't just a game. In fact, the official genre of the game is "Entertainment Golf Tool."
There are two primary uses for Everyone's Golf Course. The first feature takes advantage of the PSP GPS accessory. Basically, you take your PSP to an actual golf course and use it to help you with your golf game. Actual golf course data has been brought in for all kinds of golf courses in Japan thanks to Sony's cooperation with Digital Golf Inc.. By using the PSP's GPS functionality in conjunction with the course data, you're able to tell exactly where you are on the golf course.
If you've never golfed, this information is useful primarily because you're able to tell how far you are from the pin. This helps with your golf club selection. Also of importance is using such data to gain insight into your performance -- if for example your hits always land short of where they're supposed to, it will be very easy to tell exactly which part of your game needs improvement.
For those of you wondering if something like this has been done before, it certainly has. There's even debate in the golfing community about how use of such devices gives you an unfair advantage on the course... but we'll leave that issue alone. Regardless of what you think, it's nice to see such functionality added to the PSP.
Sony plans to have course data available for more than 120 courses in Japan with "VOL. 1" through "VOL. 4" of "Minna no Golf Jo." Volume 1 includes course data for 32 courses in Chiba Prefecture, including the Japan PGA Golf Club. Each volume will apparently feature two discs, making this the first multi-disc PSP game.
Of course, Sony wouldn't release a Minna no Golf "game" without including a game. That's why Minna no Golf Jo includes a custom character creation feature that allows you to create your own character and take them to whatever golf course you want. Unfortunately you can't use some of the more extreme golf moves that were in previous Minna no Golf games,
One final mode worth mentioning is the "Round Strategy Creator" where you can freely move around a course in 3D to plot out potential strokes for your future games. Minna no Golf Jo is expected to hit Japan on May 31st 2007 for 5,980 yen (~$51.36 USD). A version that includes the GPS accessory will go for 9,980 yen (~$85.72 USD).
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