Microsoft stole the show at the E3 videogame convention with its Project Natal motion-sensing camera. But now Kotaku is reporting new details on Sony's answer for the Playstation 3: an enhanced version of the "Eye" camera.
Sony is taking a hybrid approach, using both a cam and up to four motion-sensing contollers, each with force feedback (vibrations in sync with on-screen action). In addition to head and face tracking, there will be voice recognition too.
Sony made the first big splash into the motion-sensing pool with the EyeToy camera in 2003. The peripheral came bundled with a game called EyeToy: Play, which was pretty cool and breakthrough at the time. The games were pre-Wii casual and intuitive challenges - wiping bubbles, kicking balls, etc. There were a few other games made later, including one from Harmonix - future makers of Guitar Hero and Rock Band - called Antigrav, and also a trading card game called the Eye of Judgment. But despite showing early promise, the EyeToy basically seemed to fade away - a lost opportunity if ever there was one. And now, after losing its lead to Nintendo and Microsoft, Sony won't have an easy time clawing back.
My advice/hope: get Media Molecule (makers of LittleBigPlanet, the best Sony title in eons) to make the flagship Eye game.
David Kushner is the author of many books, including Masters of Doom, Jonny Magic & the Card Shark Kids, Levittown, The Bones of Marianna, and Alligator Candy. A contributing editor of Rolling Stone, he has written for publications including The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Wired, and The New York Times Magazine.