April 18, 2007 - We just got through writing about what we thought was the PSP's first dual UMD game, when we looked through a recent issue of Famitsu and learned that we were wrong. It turns out that the first PSP game to span two disks will be the latest entry in the Hot Shots Golf series.
Minna no Golf Ba, as the new entry is to be known in Japan, was announced last year as one of the first games to be compatible with Sony's PSP GPS attachment. While we were previously in the dark as to how the game would make use of the GPS receiver, the magazine has at last cleared things up.
The Hot Shots Golf series is known for offering a casual experience for all. Minna no Golf Ba, on the other hand, appears to be designed for people who actually golf in real life. Take your GPS-ready PSP and your copy of Minna no Golf Ba with you to one of the included real-life courses, and you'll have in your hands a a digital caddy! The game supports you as you golf, informing you of the remaining distance to the green and your current height. When used in virtual caddy form, the PSP is meant to be held vertically rather than in the traditional horizontal position.
Those who just want to play golf the traditional Hot Shots way will be able to as well. The game includes a mode of play with standard Hot Shots Golf play mechanics over the included courses. Super-spin and other special moves are missing from the gameplay, but the control is the same.
All this content apparently requires some hefty disk space. Minna no Golf Ba will span two disks. The first disk will include sixteen courses from southern Chiba along with one special course. The second disk will include fifteen courses from northern Chiba. Chiba, in case you're not familiar with Japanese geography, is the large mass of nothingness located just East of Tokyo.
The full name of this GPS-ready Hot Shots Golf is actually Minna no Golf Ba Vol.1. Sony is planning on releasing additional volumes in the future, featuring data on other courses from throughout Japan.
We presume international courses would also be possible if the idea takes off. Golfers worldwide should keep an eye on Minna no Golf Ba when it hits Japan on 5/31.