Another Motion Controller, Another Golf Game

Golf games have been a mainstay of gaming for many years now. And it seems that they have been a particularly prominent part of the motion control revolution. The Wii launched with Wii Sports, which included golf. The MotionPlus launched with Tiger Woods 10. And now Sony’s Move has its very own golf game.

John Daly’s ProStroke Golf from developer O-Games will be on show at this year’s E3 with full Move support. Pro golfer Daly will be in attendance to demonstrate the game. This is always a risk, of course. If the pro puts in a poor round of golf using the software, then people might think that it’s not especially realistic. O-Games are presumably feeling confident enough that this won’t happen, then. That or they’ve been frantically training Daly how to get his Move on.

But just how is Move going to be used different from the Wii’s control scheme? Move’s technology does a lot of things very differently from the Nintendo’s system. But so far a lot of games that have been demonstrated might as well have been Wii titles. Sony’s own Move Party is an example of how the controller and the camera can be used together to create an interesting experience. How will other developers match this? Or will they simply take the lazy way out and work with modified Wii controls?

O-Games promise that their golf game features something called “ProStroke control”. This supposedly “is all about control, precision and power” and “allows players to shape and control golf shots like never before in a golf video game”. What they don’t say is how it works or indeed what it is. It’s clearly not a motion control-exclusive thing, since the Xbox 360 and PC versions of the title also mention it. But there’s no Wii version. What is the reason for this? Is it simply because the developers wanted to focus on HD visuals? Or is it because they couldn’t pull off “ProStroke control” on the Wii? The smart money’s on the former.

So what could Move be bringing to the table that the Wii isn’t? For starters, there’s the camera, which allows Move-compatible titles to detect how far away the player is from the TV. Then there’s the colored globe on the end of the controller, which can be used to pass specific information to the game based on its color. Move will also supposedly be able to track movements over time rather than immediately. Combine all these things together and there are some interesting possibilities. In the context of a golf game, the accuracy of the device could potentially be used to analyze real-life swings, including their fluidity and form. It would depend largely on the software, of course. But O-Games seem pretty confident about their ProStroke technology, going so far as to trademark the name.

Of all the new motion-control technologies out there, Move seems to be the one that has core gamers most interested. Early impressions from demos of the technology have been very positive. And there is sure to be a deluge of Move titles on display at E3, including John Daly’s ProStroke Golf. Be sure to stick with Kombo for the latest details.