PS Vita Preview: Hot Shots Golf (Working Title)

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PS Vita Preview: Hot Shots Golf (Working Title)

When I first laid eyes on the PS Vita in January, I was floored by UNCHARTED (now officially dubbed UNCHARTED: Golden Abyss), eager to try Super Stardust Delta with dual analog sticks, and mesmerized by the use of AR in Reality Fighters. But I knew that the game I’d be coming back to on flight after flight, year after year, would be Hot Shots Golf.


I’ve easily sunk hundreds of hours into the Hot Shots Golf series dating back to the PS2 days, with the majority of that time on the PSP’s Open Tee line. Based on what I’ve played of Hot Shots Golf, the hours will keep piling up on PS Vita.

The first thing I noticed was how the game’s cheerfully colorful visuals benefit from the PS Vita’s stunning OLED display. Don’t compare it to the PSP’s Open Tee series; Hot Shots Golf’s visuals on the PS Vita are even more polished than those of PS3’s Hot Shots Golf: Out of Bounds. Gorgeous character lighting, dazzling water effects, fluttering birds, swirling leaves — this is as pretty a day on the links are you’re likely to see.


The basic gameplay of Hot Shots Golf has held up over five console platforms, and the PS Vita gameplay remains as comfortable, familiar, and addicting as a well-worn pair of jeans. Developer Clap Hanz is working with Vita’s powerful hardware in order to create a drop-dead-simple user interface, and the early results show promise. Use your finger to move your golfer around the tee box to give you a better angle around doglegs, then touch the screen where you want the ball to land – the game will automatically select the right club for the distance.


For the moment, the dev team isn’t looking at going full touch on the shot mechanics. Buttons still have their place in gaming, and if it works, it works. Here, it works.

But you’ll know how far gaming has come when can you peer through the PS Vita’s 5’’ OLED display to search for hidden objects scattered across the courses, shifting your window into the game world by simply moving the PS Vita. Very cool stuff.

It’s also no surprise to learn that Wifi and 3G multiplayer are planned, and will incorporate a leaderboard for you to keep track of your progress versus that of your friends.

Hot Shots Golf is planned as a day-one release for PS Vita, beginning what will likely be another years-long dominance of my portable gaming time.

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4 Author Replies

  • Haha did anyone notice Kaz Hirai is playing the game on the second pic?

  • “For the moment, the dev team isn’t looking at going full touch on the shot mechanics. Buttons still have their place in gaming, and if it works, it works. Here, it works.”

    Am I to take this to mean that the “full-touch screen” will not be used or that it just won’t be used specifically for swinging the club? ‘Cause the whole thing where developers skip the supposed “non-gimmick” aspect of a PlayStation product has happened quite a bit in the past. Pressure-sensitive buttons, Sixaxis, PS Eye, in-game music, photo capture, Move.

    What about aiming? Trajectory? Club selection?

    And, especially, what about the map? Because in Out of Bounds, it was horrible. It was like square and triangle to move it around.

  • I can’t wait for a Vita Pangya/Super Swing Golf…

  • This game for the PS Vita looks cool! It has some pretty cool graphics too!

  • Will uncharted golden abyss have online? I am really wondering.


  • Hot Shots on PSP is soooo addicting. Played so much of it.

  • I love this game! I’ve been looking for people online to play with but it seems to be dead… This is the PSP version Hot Shots Golf 2…. Really excited about the upcoming titles for the Vita!

  • What price will hot shots and other ps vita games be? I hope $40

  • i personally liked Pangya Fantasy Golf for my psp better than Hot Shots/Everybody’s Golf. Especially when it came down to garnering liscences. Their challenges were fun. Hopefully, Claphanz will take a page from their book…

  • Game prizes most likely to be like 49.99

  • 49.99! That costs as much as a wii game and the wii sucks but 3ds is awesome. If only the ps vita had 3d without the glasses. The games should cost less than 3ds games because 3ds games have 3d!

  • I’m pretty sure the games are going to be $40. A bunch of places have already taken preorders at $40. had an awesome deal where you could preorder a bunch of Vita games for $26. I snagged Hot Shots and Uncharted.

    Personally I think $40 is still too much for a portable game and I’m really dissappointed in Sony and Nintendo’s refusal to admit that price point is too high.

    However, I was expecting $50 games so I guess I should take what I can get.

  • Hmmm – Jeff, I notice you removed your comment to post #25 that said it was the first you heard of a Move/3D patch for Out of Bounds.

    Does this mean it may exist or that you’re at least looking into it?

  • Will they work on the clipping issues? You’ll notice them in the first picture. His chin is clipping through his chest along with his arm. Whatever, I’ll probably still pick up this game, loved all the previous ones.

  • Okay, saying the PSV has PS3 quality graphics is a little too much. It does have 360 quality graphics, though!

  • I can’t wait for the Vita! Looks so amazing! I can also play online while I’m on car trips!

  • Praise God! Best Buy has a ps vita game package for $26?

  • Amazing! The PSVita’s graphics are stunning, and it’s looking to be an amazing portable console… I’m so proud of Sony… *cries tears of joy*

  • Please convince Sony to add TV-Out to Vita! And the ability to use a PS3 controller like PSP Go did.

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