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Tiger Woods 14 gets hyper-real

What happens when a part-time golfer goes up against the best in the world? GAVIN MANNION finds out when he tries the latest in the Tiger Woods series.

It’s always interesting getting sporting titles in for review in our office. Geoff suddenly forgets how to speak English, Darryn is keen as mustard to strap on his cricket pads to hit the golf course and score a touchdown and Yolanda just points at the pregnancy bump and waddles away. So it’s left to me to review these titles, which works for me, as I actually love sports.

I’m actually even a golfer‚Ķwell a hacker of beautiful fairways and a master of raking the bunkers so this was going to be an experience. The last Tiger Woods I played was Tiger Woods 11 so I was interested to see how the gameplay had improved and what had been added.

The game starts up and you are given the chance to customise your golfer in quite a lot of detail: my guy ended up with a purple spiked goatee and some very angry eyes‚Ķ something which you wouldn’t see on most golf courses in the world.

You then get to choose some clothing and quickly realise that anything you would want to wear outside the house is locked and can only be chosen once you have ranked up significantly, but I’m not a style guru so I slapped on whatever I could and hit the course.

The controls are very straight-forward. When standing on the tee box you push up to zoom to where the ball should land, you can then move that target around and then hit X to zoom back to the tee box. You then use the right stick to choose where you would like to strike the ball and when you are ready an arc is drawn for your swing.

Pull the left stick back until you are happy with the power you are going to use and then push the stick forward to strike the ball. If you do this perfectly the ball will fly as planned (taking wind into account) but if you are a bit ragged with this motion you end up with the ball fading or drawing possibly out of bounds.

It’s a very simple mechanism to get to grips with but pretty difficult to perfect, especially on the short game, which is exactly how I find golf to be in real life.

If you don’t want to use the club the caddie chooses for you then you simply tap R1 or L1 to swap clubs and when you are putting (and are using base settings) you can tap L1 and the game will draw a line of where your putt is going to go.. you can only do this once per shot however and it’s vital if you are new to the game.

And that really is all the game is about… only it is so much more detailed than that. You start off on the amateur tour and after the first tournament you have two more tournaments available. The third tournament is the Web.com qualifier where you need to finish in the top 50 to be allowed to proceed to the next level of the game and unlock more of the tournaments to enter and to start winning some real cash.

Unfortunately try as I might I simply cannot do it. I’ve tried to get past this level a ton of times now and I’m simply too impatient. As in real life, if you rush golf it all goes horribly wrong. The most frustrating thing about golf however is that if you make one big mistake it hurts too much, going out of bounds pretty much confirms you are going to get a double bogey for that hole. Which means that you are then going to try hitting the great shots to make up for the dropped shots, which leads you to drop more shots.

However if you are a real golfer you will know that you mustn’t do that and simply play the safe game and make the cut‚Ķ I’m just not very good at listening to the sensible voice in my head.

But in true EA Sports style the single career mode isn’t the only option that is available in the game. In fact there are tons of other options including

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Bixby brings AI shopping to SA

Samsung has announced a strategic partnership with visual search provider Syte to power the first visual AI marketplace within Samsung devices.  Syte’s AI technology will power Bixby Vision’s Shopping Assistant, enabling users to browse and shop visually similar products directly from their camera and through a gallery of similar products. Outlets that will be enabled on devices include Superbalist, Zando, Cotton On, Wantitall, Homechoice and Bid or Buy.

“South Africa has enthusiastic consumers that expect engaging and convenient experiences that fit their lifestyle. We, therefore, decided to expand our partnership with Syte so our devices deliver just that,” says Justin Hume, director of Integrated Mobility at Samsung South Africa. “With visual search, South Africans can shop with ease, and connect better with their favourite retailers and brands and vice versa.”

Syte retail clients will populate the shopping results, which means access to purchase-ready traffic to retailers. Samsung says it aims to create the first visual AI ecosystem, where real-life inspiration leads directly to product discovery and purchase. The retailers that appear on the shoppable feed will create a consistent experience, from snapping a picture through to check-out.

“Our partnership with Samsung and its expansion to South Africa are meaningful achievements for us,” said Ofer Fryman, CEO of Syte. “By powering the end-to-end journeys of shoppers, we bring more value and increase the engagement between our retail clients and consumers.”

With Bixby Vision already built into the camera on select Samsung devices, users can translate foreign languages, identify landmarks or businesses to learn more about them and keep track of calories. Samsung says this is all aligned to its greater vision of helping people “Do What You Can’t”.

Supported devices for Bixby Vision and Shopping include Galaxy S10+/S10/ S10e, S9/S9+, Note8/S8/S8+/A7 2018/A5 2018.

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Fun Software

Gran Turismo 6 on the grid

Sony has announced that Gran Turismo 6 (GT6), the latest version of PlayStation’s best-selling franchise, will be released in the next few months.

The news was revealed today by Gran Turismo creator Kazunori Yamauchi at an event held to celebrate 15 years of the 70-million-selling series.

GT6 for PlayStation 3 will bring new levels of authenticity to ‚’the Real Driving Simulator’ as well as introducing stunning new tracks and cars and a revised user interface. A new compact game engine will improve operation and increase the flexibility to expand it with downloadable content. Meanwhile, the game is also set for expanded connectivity with other devices such as smart phones and tablets and increased social and community functions.

All of the cars and tracks from Gran Turismo 5, which has sold over 10m copies since launching in 2010, will be retained in GT6. But notable new additions to the already impressive line-up of historic cars, road cars and the latest race cars, brings the total car list to 1200 at launch, with new cars set to be continually added online. Several thousand aerodynamic parts and custom wheels will be available for almost all cars, and players can personalize their own custom cars in game to the greatest ever level possible.

The UK’s famous Silverstone Circuit will be just one of seven new locations in Gran Turismo 6, taking the total to 33, with 71 different layouts available, 19 of them brand new. There will also be regular additions of new tracks set to be made available online. The improved course maker function will provide gorgeous scenery spanning several tens of square kilometres including the magnificent backdrop of Andaluc√≠a.

The theme of Gran Turismo’s innovative collaborations with partner companies will increase with the inception of GT6. A number of exciting new projects that blur the line between the virtual and real will be announced in the run up to the game’s launch. Not least of these is GT Academy, collaboration with Nissan to unearth real racing driver talent that first ran in 2008. It was announced during the event that the competition returns for its biggest ever year in 2013, with the entry mechanic set to take place on an exclusive GT6 demo in July.

Other notable partnerships in the development of GT6 have been with tyre manufacturer Yokohama Rubber and suspension company KW Automotive. Both companies are active in the commercial car industry and in racing, and they have acted as technical development partners for the game’s new physics engine, for its tyre and suspension kinematic modeling, creating an even more realistic experience for GT fans.

‚”It is amazing to think that it is 15 years since we first released Gran Turismo,‚” explained Kazunori Yamauchi, during the announcement at Silverstone Circuit.

‚”Things have changed a lot since then and now Gran Turismo 6 is a further evolution of my dream. We’re pleased to deliver GT6 to PlayStation 3 as we have a very loyal community on that platform. However, we have refactored the game to make it very flexible and expandable, with a view to making many future developments. I am very pleased with everything about the new game and the new additions, but the launch will be only the beginning for GT6. The game will continue to develop throughout its life. I already have many ideas for things I want to achieve in the next 15 years of Gran Turismo!‚”

The celebration of 15 years of Gran Turismo event at Silverstone included a demo of GT6 featuring the famous circuit. Guests were able to play the game in the familiar circular Gran Turismo race pods before having a chance to take to the real track in cars provided by Audi, Ford, Jaguar, KTM, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Toyota.

Further news about Gran Turismo 6 will be revealed at the forthcoming E3 and Gamescom events and on www.gran-turismo.com. #GT6iscoming

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