A Singaporean company called Affineon aims to pick up where Wii Sports Golf left off. At CES they have a demo of a three axis motion tracking system used for a golf game. Their technology measures the position of the club through a camera and it adds depth, something that Wii Sports doesn’t have.
In Wii Sports Golf you just mimic the motion of the swing. In Affineon’s game you have to line the club up with the ball. A LCD screen on the floor shows the position of the ball in relation to the club. You do not have to have the LCD to use the system, a picture-in-picture style window with the same information is on the big screen. The process of lining the club up was quite cumbersome. I watched as the club clipped right through the golf course and into the grass. It took a good minute to orientate the ball and club before I could hit it. Of course, this is just a beta, but the experience immediately made me wonder if the extra layer of complexity would make a game more entertaining. Sometimes simplicity is key. Affineon’s system feels too complicated to capture the neocasual market the Wii attracts.
Interesting note about the photo: The team at Affineon was very proactive about including the girl holding the equipment. I was originally planning on just taking a picture of the club or someone else playing, but they insisted the girl would be a better model.