PlayStation Eye has never been a particularly exciting investment for gamers. I, for one, enjoy the device a lot as it has the 4 microphone array which provides me with a higher quality way to talk to my friends without the need for recharging or replacing Bluetooth devices, and no need to hold a wired mic up to my face. But from a gaming perspective, the device is much like other webcams in that it has never produced a killer app. What does this mean for sales of the device?
I’m not really sure, since it has plenty of other uses. The PlayStation Move now requires the device, which has surely boosted its selling power, and they are practically giving them away for free at this point in the PS3 Move bundle and Sports Champions bundle. With this in mind, a few gripes come to the surface about the device which I would love to see addressed in some sort of future edition of the Eye.
The wire in the back. Who thought of this, seriously? It’s a little bit difficult to get the PlayStation Eye positioned just right for PS Move usage due to the wire being in the back of the camera. But really the problem comes into play when moving it around, from room to room for example. After a couple years of wear and tear you will probably end up breaking the device like me from abusing that wire by accident.
The solution may take away from one of my earlier points about the device, it doesn’t have to be charged, but if there was a mini-USB port in the back similar to the DualShock 3 it could be used while charging as well. Solution: Go Wireless.
I am pretty sure that the PS3’s 7 bluetooth slots are taken up now by the PS Moves, Nav Controllers, DualShock 3’s, and Keypads we’ve all been enjoying, but that wouldn’t stop Sony from being able to drop a Bluetooth dongle into the USB port of the PS3 itself for use when it’s charged. To me, a wireless camera would be much better if even slightly.
Picture Quality too low for Home Movies / Scrapbook. I would love to say that the PS Eye is what I use for making home movies, but if I did that they would all be very grainy, especially at night. There is a decent amount of resolution for what is currently needed; video chats on PSN, augmented reality, etc. But another mode to put the device into for HD recording for use in the new Video Editor / Uploader on PS3 or even for use on the PC (if official drivers ever surface) would be amazing. Solution: High Definition Integration.
It may take some time for this to be fiscally reasonable, but given the extensive lifespan planned for the PlayStation 3 it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. After all, why have a Video Editor / Uploader, Photo Gallery and Virtual Scrapbooking software without the quality to enable users to make it their main home movie / photo center? This is something that needs to be addressed whenever possible to make this device the ultimate webcam.
As it stands, the PlayStation Eye is a sound piece of hardware, though it does not add much to the gaming experience without a PlayStation Move, it gets the job done. It can enable you to put your face on your characters in games like Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11. It can pick up real world objects in titles like EyePet, and combine that with Move support in EyePet: Move Edition, and more. But overall, I’ve never been the type to play games on a webcam, I’d just like to see these simple improvements on the hardware and I’d be glad to pick up another PS Eye to use as my microphone, my Move receiver, and my PS3 webcam.