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Need a Tiger fix? Check out this demo

PlayStation network and Xbox Live let you test-drive a bit of ‘Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09.'

Langston Wertz Jr.
Langston Wertz Jr. writes about video games, gadgets, golf and sports for The Charlotte Observer and Charlotte.com.

With the real Tiger Woods on the mend after knee surgery, about the only place you can see him playing right now is in the virtual world.

Xbox Live and the PlayStation network have put up a pretty sharp-looking new demo from EA Sports' upcoming “Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09.”

After you play the demo's three holes at the all-new Gary Player Country Club, one of Africa's top courses, Tiger's personal performance coach Hank Haney will customize tips and drills to help you get better (similar to the way you can improve skills in EA Sports' excellent “Madden NFL 09” game).

“Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09” will be in stores Aug. 26.

Other news and notes from the video-game world:

According the NPD Group, which tracks the industry, more than 555,000 Wiis and 608,000 DS handhelds were sold in July. That allowed Nintendo to keep the top two spots in hardware sales. Wii accounted for a 49 percent share of all console sales in the month; the DS held a 73 percent share. Just thinking out loud: The one thing the Wii doesn't have is superior HD graphics. If Nintendo released an HD Wii for, say, $350 (up $100 from the standard Wii), I think it'd be a top seller as well.

On a related note, five games made for Nintendo systems were among the top 10 best-selling games of July: “Wii Fit” was second, “Guitar Hero: On Tour” was third, “Wii Play” was fourth, “Mario Kart” was No. 7, and “Rock Band” was No.8.

Electronic Arts signed a publishing agreement with Japanese development studio Grasshopper Manufacture. Under the terms of the deal, EA Partners will publish an action-horror game produced by Shinji Mikami (“Resident Evil”) and directed by innovative game designer Suda51 (“Moonlight Syndrome”). The title is being developed for the PC and all console systems and is due this fall.

2K Sports has put a free demo of “NHL 2K9” on the PlayStation network. It's a three-minute simulation of last year's Stanley Cup matchup between Pittsburgh's Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings. The demo should hit Xbox Live this week. Expect the game in stores next month.

Video-game publisher Mastiff will bring the award-winning, arcade-style “Deer Drive” to Wii this fall. It's the first deer-hunting game that features simultaneous play for up to four gamers.

Get more Games N Gadgets news at http://langstonwertz.blogspot.com

Langston Wertz Jr.: 704-358-5133; lwertz@charlotteobserver.com

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