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What we know about PS4′s new camera

- February 21st, 2013

During yesterday’s Future of PlayStation media conference in New York City, Sony officially announced the PlayStation 4 with a flurry of game and feature announcements that the Japanese electronics giant hopes will make PS4 the next-gen system of choice among gamers.

Amidst an avalanche of stunning gameplay footage and some new ideas, Sony also showed off the PS4′s new controller: The DualShock 4.

While touting the controller’s new shape, front touch pad and share button, little attention was paid to the system’s second confirmed peripheral: The PlayStation 4 camera. What is it?

Does it work similar to Microsoft’s Kinect camera or differently? Is it still called the Eye, like the PS3 camera? Does every system come with one?

While we might have to wait until E3 for answers to these questions, here’s what we know right now:

1) It’s actually TWO cameras. A DualEye!

Sony said the dual cameras were developed alongside the DualShock 4 and can recognize each controller in the room by the illuminated light-bars located on top of each DualShock 4.

The camera can also assign each controller a different colour which Sony said can match the colour of their characters in the game.

2) It detects sound too!

Sony said the new camera “incorporates four microphones capable of accurate sound detection and source origination”, a feature that game developers could use in all sorts of interesting ways.

Walking away from the solid ground of fact and into the murky waters of speculation, the PlayStation 4 camera could sport functionality seen on Kinect in games like Mass Effect 3 and Dead Space 3, where the game responds to voice prompts from the gamer.

3) It still works with PlayStation Move!

There’s no denying that the PlayStation Move didn’t reach new heights on the PS3. Even flagship games developed by Sony like Sorcery and Killzone 3 failed to prove the Move could provide a better experience than the standard gamepad.

During Wednesday’s conference however, Alex Evans of LittleBigPlanet developer Media Molecule said the creative company had fallen in love with Move on the PS4. Saying gamers could “record their dreams”, Evans then debuted their work on a 3D sculpting demo that allows players to use the move to construct 3D shapes in real time.

Picture 3

With hundreds of sculptures appearing onstage, the demo certainly looked interesting. Then Media Molocule made sculpted puppets dance and play music on guitars, drums and keyboard. I personally was a tad confused if this was a game or not by this point, but it was a neat demo nonetheless.

What do you think of the PS4 camera? We’ll probably learn more about it at E3 in June but feel free to sound off in the comments below!

matthew.dykstra@sunmedia.ca

@SunMattDykstra

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