EyeToy For PS3 Gone...But Not Really
Despite the naysayers, EyeToy was a pretty solid success for Sony. Even though the U.S. hype has faded since launch, the camera is quite popular in Europe and still gets a nod from a few PS2 games every once in a while. Therefore, Sony is interested to keep things going; they plan to explore the options made available by the little accessory. And so far, it appeared it might be a major facet of the PS3.
However, we've had little to no details regarding the EyeToy and the PS3. First off, it's not packaged with the system Pack-Ins, which instantly takes it away from the mass-audience and turns it into a potentially trivial accessory. Furthermore, SCE has made no announcements on release plans for EyeToy outside Japan, where Eye of Judgment is an expected launch title.
Well, IGN got a few questions answered at yesterday's Gamer's Day after approaching EyeToy mastermind Richard Marks. And those answers aren't exactly what everyone expected...
Firstly, the PS3 camera set to release alongside the console is not necessarily the EyeToy, which only confuses us further, because the EyeToy HD IP camera shown at E3 isn't "necessarily" the EyeToy, either. So what exactly is the official PS3 EyeToy? Will it even exist?
Apparently, according to Marks, no. There isn't one. At the same time, though, the PS3 will have camera integration built right in at launch, and it even sports Video Chat as one of its major features. ...huh? But the PS3 is USB-compatible, which includes the classic EyeToy as well as other PC cameras. So the best conclusion we can reach is as follows: In fact, Sony does have a variety of cameras ready; cameras we can use with the PS3. But none of them are technically named, "EyeToy."
So if you look at it this way, the feature is still something that's coming to the PS3, as games like Eye of Judgment and SingStar essentially prove. "EyeToy" is more of a concept than an actual product, anyway, and Marks did elaborate a bit- "because the PS3 could accept a data flow from a camera completely uncompressed in realtime, it's technically free on the processor to bring that data into the system and perhaps use in a game." (IGN) And lastly, he hinted at the possibility of the camera allowing users to record videos on HDD, which may add a great deal to the accessory's inherent appeal.
So okay, it's not really called "EyeToy," but it's safe to assume that whatever "it" is, it's similar to what we all would've expected the EyeToy to be. ...if that makes any sense.
10/20/2006 Ben Dutka