News Article

Talking Point: Do You Intend to Buy the PS4's Camera?

Posted by Sammy Barker

Watch dogs

Whether or not you believe that Sony planned to bundle the new PlayStation Eye with every PlayStation 4 console, the platform holder hasn’t done a particularly good job of making a compelling argument for the peripheral. You’ll be able to pick up one of the dual-lens units at launch, but while there’s no doubt that the optical extra looks the part, is there really much point in purchasing the optional device alongside the next generation system?

The gizmo is an undeniable improvement over its predecessor. In addition to shedding the dated webcam-esque shape of the PlayStation 3 viewfinder, it’s also packing some serious hardware beneath its slender chassis. It includes two 1280×800 cameras, which can be used for basic depth-sensing and enhanced motion tracking. It also boasts a four-channel microphone array, which may be employed for voice detection in the future.

As such, it’s a huge step forward from the humble 640x480 single-lens limitations of its ancestor, but it’s still far from on par with the Xbox One’s improved Kinect sensor. Microsoft’s option features a 1080p time-of-flight camera and an active IR sensor, allowing it to read heart-rate, facial expressions, and 25 individual joints. Considering the statements attached to the Xbox 360's device, some of that may be exaggerated guff – but the fact is that it’s more capable than the new PlayStation Eye.

The peripheral’s biggest problem, though, is that Sony’s done very little to make the additional purchase seem worthwhile. To our knowledge, only two title’s support the device at the moment: DriveClub and the Playroom. The former uses the camera to take snaps of you, which it then deploys to other players in addition to gameplay challenges. The latter is at least a little more ambitious.

Designed by EyePet creator Nicolas Doucet – who now works out of Sony’s main office in Tokyo – the Playroom was produced as an internal showcase to demonstrate the PS4’s unique features and functions. But following a positive reception at E3, the company is now planning to expand the software prior to the system’s release. The current version – which we got to try out recently – includes various augmented reality demos, in addition to a pretty enjoyable reimagining of Pong, which allows you to manipulate the game space by moving around.

It’s all really fun stuff – but it’s not enough. The platform holder’s played the PS4’s announcement smart by laser-focusing its efforts on core game experiences, but it needs to really demonstrate the value of the new PlayStation Eye if it wants people to actually purchase it. We suspect that the device will be compatible with the console’s party chat and social features at launch, but it will require some compelling software to accompany it.

Fortunately, we’d be surprised if the Japanese giant didn’t have something in the pipeline. It released the EyeToy alongside the minigame compilation EyeToy: Play, and even bundled the PlayStation 3’s camera with the turn-based card game Eye of Judgment at first. But while we suppose that the Playroom does fill that role, we’re hopeful that there’ll be something a little more substantial on the way.

The firm's going to need to reveal it soon, though. We already know that the new PlayStation Eye will be available alongside the PS4 at launch, but with just three months (approximately) until the system assumes its place on store shelves, Sony’s really going to have accelerate its efforts if it wants consumers to take the camera to the checkout alongside the console. The question is: what does it need to show to get the device in your shopping cart?

Will you be buying the new PlayStation Eye alongside your PS4? Are there any types of experience in particular that you’d like to accompany the camera? Let us know in the comments section below.

Will you be purchasing the PS4’s camera at launch? (81 votes)

Yes, I’m finding the lure of new hardware tough to resist


I want to see more of what it can do first


No, I really don’t see any point in buying the device yet


Please login to vote in this poll.

User Comments (51)



Grockumus said:

If this thing has 3D video chat capabilities, I definitely want to try that with a friend of mine!



Ginkgo said:

Realistically I am going to get it, but probably not initially. Still a bit jaded about the lack of support for Move.

Sony really has shown nothing of what it can do yet or how they are going to integrate it. I assume that they plan to show more closer to launch, but who knows. It is all rather an after thought at the moment.



Gamer83 said:

Definitely not buying at launch, later on down the line if some games come out and use it ways I think are useful, maybe I'll buy one but I'm expecting to not have much need for it, just like I didn't have need for the PS2 eyetoy or the PS Move. All I need is the tried and true dualshock to enjoy my games.



Paranoimia said:

I probably will, as I have Move and it'll be useless on PS4 without it.

People keep saying that the new Kinect is superior in terms of tech, and that may be the case... but realistically it still isn't going to add anything to the gaming experience. In terms of input, it still gives you no more options than PS2's original Eye Toy.

Of course, given their current penchant for U-turns, perhaps Gamescom will see Microsoft announce a Move-style peripheral for Kinect.



8vpiper said:

I will be picking it up at launch, I'm really hoping for some killzone support, but what my big hope is some head tracking for the likes of #Driveclub and when GT rolls around. Head Tracking + Hmt-z1 + G27 = Awesome!! it has a led light on the front so should be trackable like a move controller. That and i already have move accessories and dance titles is fun when my mates are over for parties ect.



SuperKMx said:

I can only sum it up with the phrase "it depends."

All I've seen of the camera is a couple of official hardware shots, which says to me that Sony will support it just as poorly as they did PlayStation Move. It doesn't appear to be any sort of priority for them, and just seems to have been put together so they can say "Yeah, we've got a camera TOO" - which is never the right attitude to take.

They might wow me at Gamescom or Eurogamer, but given that nobody anywhere has really even mentioned any games that are being developed to support the camera, I just don't see it.



get2sammyb said:

@SuperKMx I totally agree. The Playroom is really cool, but at the end of the day it's just a tech demo. You'll be able to have fun with it for an hour or so, and then that's kinda it. I feel like they need a good game to accompany and make it worth the investment.

@The_Chenger_123 I'm certain that there will be. I assume you'll also be able to overlay camera footage when you're streaming to UStream or whatever. That's what the UI images seem to indicate, anyway.

@irken004 I'm curious about this, too. It seems like it would be quite an easy thing for Guerrilla to incorporate (as it already has the code written from PS3) but I'm going to guess that it probably won't at launch. My bet is that that functionality gets patched in if enough people request it.



Stuffgamer1 said:

@Grockumus: Video chat with both parties wearing 3D glasses? Yeah, that sounds greeeeeaaaaaat...

I'm in the "no point at launch" camp, though I'll probably wind up with one sooner or later. It's really just a matter of support, and I hear tell it's supposed to have a lot more than Sony's really shown so far...which I think is only right since it's not the kind of thing that SHOULD be front-and-center too early anyway.



Matt_Berial said:

I might get it, but i need to see more from it though. I heard from someone at sony that you can use the camera as a face recognition ID to log into the PS4 and such so you have more options to secure your account so no one can log into it but you, which is cool. It definitely has more uses and i can see what it is capable of, I hope Sony does some really cool stuff with it.



Ps4all said:

I have it pre ordered. Im hoping there will be some content I can play with my non-gamer wife and daughter. And in addition to Drive Club and Playroom, Just Dance 2014 will be availabavailable at launch and is compatible.



satam55 said:

Even though there haven't been any games announced yet for the PS Camera besides "Just Dance 2014", I think the PS Camera would move units if Sony would just announce that you could group video chat via Skype or Google Hangouts while playing a game or watching video apps like Netflix.

The PS Camera would become even more attractive when Live-TV cable provider apps start coming to the PS4 & folks could group video chat via Skype/Google Hangouts while watching sports especially during the football season.



Ps4all said:

@get2sammyb I have looked all over the web but I haven't been able to get a straight answer on what you need in addition to the camera for just dance. Hopefully the PS eye will do the trick. I've never played one of these before, but it looks like something my daughter would get into.



ShogunRok said:

If it gets the software to support it then maybe at some point in the future. I honestly don't think it will, though.



Visiblemode said:

Not saying it doesn't have current uses or will not have significant future uses but...

No, not really. I have the Playstation Eye and Kinect and both are gathering dust.

Seems to me these technologies were designed altogether to attract "non-gamers" with gimmicks. The core gaming experience has evolved for more than 30 years into the home console we have before us today. That's what I'm im it for, keep the gimmicks



Visiblemode said:

Tbh the most intriguing aspects of it are the flat and practical ones, such as being able to recognize where in the room controllers
are for same screen multiplayer or something of that nature.



johnnynitross said:

I enjoyed the tech demo, it was really cool, but you can only play with little robots for so long. Like many have stated... Definitely not a launch purchase!! For 59.99 I can buy another game here in Canada, well add the 13 percent sales tax cause I live in Ontario.



Hokage17 said:

The one thing it has going for it is the price. At $60 it's not so hard to pick one up, but Sony has to give us a reason. The concept seems cool, but they're going to have to do a lot more. It seems when it comes to Sony's perphirals there's never a lot of support...Eye Toy, PS Move, even the Vita and PSP and the PSP had a 70 million user base. So I'm just going to wait and see.



Mahe said:

If it improves the PS Move's motion tracking, it will pretty much be a necessity. The PS3 Eye's tracking is spotty.



SleazyC69 said:

Day one, the more functionality I can get out of my console the happier I am. Can understand peoples reservations though. I really hope they heavily support facial scanning for in game avatars (like on reality fighters etc) as it really does make games more immersive especially if used in something like "The Division" where your voice is used too and you'd essentially be in another world with your mates. Would anyone else like that?



JaredJ said:

I think the camera and the Move should both be bundled with every PS4.



Weskerb said:

I'm not a big fan of having cameras around my TV. I've got the PS Eye and Move, but they're not very useful. KillZone 3, Resistance 3 and RE5 were good, but if you want to be doing the harder levels or multi-player then it's much better with the regular controller.



-CraZed- said:

Got mine preordered along with my system and an extra controller... I want to try out the facial recognition etc...



Dathon said:

Yes, I have it pre-ordered with my PS4 and extra controller, and three games.



Grockumus said:

Haha, yeah, it would be pretty silly with both people wearing 3D glasses, completely "overlooked" that
I hope Sony shows a TON of new content for the camera right before launch that will change people's minds. PS Move was not supported well enough to begin with. I guess we can only hope, though. Sony's got quite a lot of stuff to worry about as it is, with so many bases to cover (Vita, PS3, the PS4 itself, etc)



Squiggle55 said:

Nope I don't see myself ever buying it. And I hope it dies a quick death and is seldomly used b/c camera functionality means the dev isn't required to do remote play. =P



BlueProxy said:

For the life of the console, absolutely. Right away, no. It's the cost if one game, so on a slow season when we all have to replay games, because nothing really new is out, I may pick one up then.



mibtar said:

This is probably a bad idea but the perfect gun controller can be now be made from the DS4 and camera. 2 sticks, light tracked by cam. It now has the 2nd stick for looking that was missing in the ps move gun cons. It might just work.



DVS said:

I disagree, Jared. When you look at the Xbox One and the Kinect, the camera MUST be connected for the system to work. Whilst I agree that there would be more developer support if the PS Camera was packaged with the system, the last thing anyone wants is another situation where the thing is mandatory. That Sony gives us the choice with the camera, and therefore bringing down the base cost of the system, is much better for those like myself who have little interest in this optional peripheral.



DVS said:

I'll also add that the reason I have little interest at this time is that I don't see the PS Camera as an essential purchase. Should Sony (because first party stuff is usually better) decide to do something with it then I may change my mind.



Ginkgo said:

Virtually all the comments above agree. Why buy it, if we don't even know what it does yet. We will consider it when we know more.

Sony has to start talking about it at some point...or does it.



SuperSilverback said:

God i hope nobody gets the PS4 camera. That way we wont have to watch 30 minute Move demonstrations at E3 or Gamecon ever again!!



PMasterTy9 said:

I plan on getting it but depending on my cash flow I may or may not get it at launch.



Scorpio73 said:

I pre-ordered it based on the hopes that it will be as awesome as I'm hoping it will be. I can always cancel it if it fails to impress though. It's looking good so far.

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