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PlayStation Camera – PS4 – First Impressions

PlayStation Camera – PS4 – First Impressions

PlayStation Camera (PS4)Released along with the PlayStation 4 is the new PlayStation Camera, an update to the PS3’s “Eye” that worked in conjunction with the PlayStation Move controllers.  The new camera offers players an experience similar to the Xbox’s Kinect where the user can simply talk to their machine and have it do their bidding.  The commands are sparse at the moment, limited to actions such as returning to the Home screen or powering down the console, but for the most part the microphones are responsive and aren’t constantly interpreting background noise or even full-on conversation as a slew of commands.

Fortunately, the new PlayStation Camera is already fully compatible with the DualShock 4 so there’s no need to have another set of controllers.  Two cameras are used in the device; generally one devoted to actual video and the other used as a motion sensor.  The image quality could be better, but it could be a lot worse too.  You may be disappointed if you’re rushing out to purchase the new camera right now because there really isn’t much to be done in-game with any of the titles currently released, however you will be able to explore “The Playroom” option from the PS4’s Home screen.

PlayStation Camera (PS4)

The Playroom offers some interesting prospects.  The two “games” which focus on interaction with the tiny little robots allow you to sling them around, slap them, tickle them, and otherwise have a good time looking like a complete idiot swatting around in the air.  Beyond this there isn’t much to really do but I’m excited to see the feature work its way into future games.  There’s also an option to play Air Hockey for two players.  I can only imagine how ridiculously fun this must be but I didn’t have my usual multiplayer tester (my kid) around last night to fiddle around with it.  The Playroom probably won’t hold your interest for too long though it will get you excited about what the future holds for the new PlayStation Camera.  After all, it’s only been  little over a month.

PlayStation Camera (PS4)

Perhaps the most useful feature for the time being is the ability to narrate during gameplay.  I haven’t personally tested this feature yet, mostly because my current understanding of how to share gameplay is limited.  As soon as I feel like learning the process, I’m anxious to see the end result of the voice-over.  This will provide a much-needed respite from syncing up audio and video allowing those of us who may be great at games but unwilling to go through the complicated feat of making videos a chance to create competent and informative pieces of work.

Personally I’m excited about using this feature to get some gameplay videos up here at Nerd Bacon while being able to provide narration instead of typing everything out after the fact.

PlayStation Camera (PS4)

PlayStation Camera (PS4)The unit itself is surprisingly small and with the innovative design of the stand, it can fit almost anywhere.  The camera can also be swiveled to a perfectly desired position; the piece of the camera fixed to the stand is not locked to the camera apparatus allowing the angle of the camera to be adjusted without repositioning the stand in any way.  The stand itself has a small lip allowing for the camera to be hung over the front of a TV or TV stand, and the back consists of a segmented “tail.”  These 3 movable segments can be bent to sort of hook onto the back of a TV or provide additional support and stability on a TV stand.  Admittedly I was faced with a “what the hell is this?” moment when I took it out of the box, but I quickly saw the brilliance behind the design once I had it firmly planted on top of the TV less than 30 seconds later.

Is the $59.99 PlayStation Camera worth your money right now?  Especially if you’re one of the people who purchased the PS4 based on its price point ($100 less than the XB1)?  Probably not, at least for now.  If you’re looking for $60 to burn, buy yourself a second DualShock 4, another game, or even a 1 year subscription to PlayStation Plus (with $10 left over!).  It might be a couple of years before developers can really harness and unlock the power behind the new camera, even the PS4 is scheduled to go through multiple firmware updates to remedy a lot of issues where the PS4 has substantially less functionality than the PS3 in many ways.

PlayStation Camera (PS4)As for me, I’m excited to see what this new device can do as soon as possible.  I don’t have the hatred for motion controls as much as some gamers out there and I thoroughly enjoy waving my Wii Remote around wildly.  For those interested, be on the lookout for what Sony has on the horizon, but don’t feel like you have to go out and get the camera right now unless you intend on doing a lot of gameplay sharing.  It’s a powerful peripheral, but I think Sony is content to run with its advantage over Microsoft right now and not put too much emphasis on the product meant to supplement Xbox One’s Kinect 2.0.

Keep your eyes open readers, I’ll be happy to have any excuse to fiddle around with this new gadget just as soon as I can!

Reviewed by The Cubist

Written by The Cubist

The Cubist

Co-founder, Head Author, & Site Technician

Find out what these ratings mean and how I rate video games.

I collect as much video gaming paraphernalia as I can get my hands on, especially when it comes to hardware. With over 40 systems including oldies like the ColecoVision and Intellivision, obscurities like the CD-i and 3DO, and the latest and greatest including the Wii U, PS4, Xbox One, 3DS, and PS Vita, I get easily overwhelmed. Most of the time you can find me firmly nestled sometime between 1985 and 1995 when it comes to my games of choice, but I’m also having a great time seeing what the 8th generation has to offer.

Currently in love with: Mortal Kombat

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