When logging into my iPod Touch this afternoon, I noticed that Tiger Woods PGA Tour
had an update waiting for me. When I looked at the details of the update, I was expecting some tweaking for bugs or with the iPhone OS 3.0 compatibility that many apps have been doing lately. Instead, the details said that a new course (Hazeltine, home of the 2009 PGA Championship.) is now available for purchase. It didn't take long for it to register that EA had finally enabled microtransactions in Tiger Woods, as Isaac Feldman (Associate Producer at EA Mobile) had alluded to way back in our interview with him
While microtransactions aren't anything new to console and handheld gamers, this is the first use of it by EA in one of their major iPhone OS releases. After loading up the updated Tiger Woods, the opening page of the game now sports a link for the Pro Shop, where all of your in-game purchases are made, kept and restored. The Pro Shop appears to be a well-done interface that I found both simple to understand and easy to navigate. Of course, the only thing in there right now is the Hazeltine course, but if it sells well and base don the console version, we could expect to find clothes, clubs and who knows what (cheats anyone?) in the Pro Shop before long.
The biggest question was still unanswered, and that was what is the going rate for 18 more holes of golf? With the Tiger Woods game looking to have settled in at $4.99 on the iTunes AppStore, the items in the Pro Shop shouldn't be priced too high, or they would be out of whack with the game itself. When I took a look, I was grateful to see that as of right now, $0.99 will get you the brand new Hazeltine course. Only time will tell as tow hat the market will bear for these additions, but that is surely a fair price for the course. What I do know is that EA Mobile didn't go through all that effort to incorporate a Pro Shop into Tiger Woods without the intention of filling it up with goodies. So grab your update and keep your eyes open for the next purchasable items in there.
If you don't own Tiger Woods PGA Tour on the iPhone yet, take a look at our review of the game