February 21, 2007 - Japan's favorite golf game has come out of hiding for a two page blowout in the latest issue of Famitsu. Minna no Golf 5, known commonly outside of Japan as Hot Shots Golf 5, is being prepped for Japanese release this July, the magazine reveals.
But before the full release, Sony has a big Spring gift in store for PS3 owners on the island nation (and presumably anyone who's managed to set up a Japanese PlayStation Store account). The magazine also reveals that a free Minna no Golf 5 demo will be available at the PlayStation Store from 3/21 to 5/7. The demo will include two characters (Jasmine and Conan) and nine holes from a single course, from which you'll be able to play three chosen at random. Two players will be able to face off against one another.
The demo will also introduce a new feature to the world of "fun" golf. In addition to your standard Hot Shots Golf shot, where you use a gauge to determine power, you'll be able to select a "true shot," where the gauge disappears and you set the power directly based on your character's swing. You select your shot mode prior to the start of a match.
In an interview with the Mingol 5 producer, the magazine also got a big hint about one of the most asked about features of this latest entry in the series. Without actually confirming anything, the producer hinted that we can expect online play from the title.
But before the full Hot Shots Golf 5 package arrives with (or without) online play, we'll be sure and dig deep into the demo. The Japan based (including Japan based Japanese correspondents) will get a shot at the demo early as Sony will be distributing it first to PlayStation TV retail demo kiosks later this month. We'll bring you impressions on how things are shaping up since last year's Tokyo Game Show demo.