E3 Day 1 Impressions


posted 5/20/2005 by The GN Staff
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I haven’t golfed in a while but I think I may have found a product that will get me back into the swing of things. The Golf Launchpad is a USB peripheral featuring a real gold ball that’s tethered to a rotating base. On the base are eight sensors that will detect how your club meets the ball. By activating a specific sensor before the swing, you will choose whether you are chipping, putting, or going for a regular swing. Use your own clubs and go to town. You’ll hear the authentic sound of the club meeting the golf ball and see your swing translated to the screen. When you hit the ball, it will rotate around and there’s a net that will catch it in case it does get loose. The sensors will calculate everything that’s needed to generate a swing. Any game that uses Truswing will be able to use the Golf Launchpad and there are no drivers needed. You’ll also be able to download free software to have it analyze your swing. If you really want to experience the outdoors take a laptop, hook the Launchpad up, and use it outside. The ball and turf will need to be replaced but they are easy to change out. With the USB connection, the product will work on the PC, Mac, and the PlayStation 2. There’s a converter to plug it into the PlayStation 2 while a converter for the Xbox is in the works. It really looks to take video golfing for the home to the next level and can also be a great teaching tool.

Headgear that lets you experience games in a virtual reality like state isn’t new Trimersion is offering one up with head tracking. It’s a multiplatform device that works on the PC, PlayStation 2, and Xbox. Trimersion had a few demo units that were playing some first person shooters.

Soul Calibur III was on display but only two playable characters were available and the game needed some anti-aliasing. Tira, a new character with the round blade, along with Mitsurugi were the two you could choose and it played just like the previous version. There was some of the story mode and I’ll head back there to get some more impressions later on. Given that only two characters were playable, it was hard to gauge how much the game was improved for the third iteration but I’ve been a big fan a series and I’m anxiously awaiting this one as well.
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