Playstation Eye To Be Sold Separately

Though it seems like it should be a no-brainer, we hadn’t heard much about how you could procure a Playstation Eye without forking over the money for Eye of Judgment (which is still an extremely awesome deal at $69.99). Well, Sarah Stocker, a Senior Producer over at SCEA decided to shed some light on the situation today. Over at Playstation.blog, she’s put up a well-detailed post which states the PSEye (or, PSI? That sounds cooler.) “will be available as a stand-alone product starting October 23, for $39.99 at all major retailers.”

A more than reasonable price, if I do say so myself. That matches what Microsoft is asking for the Xbox Live Vision Camera, but for the cost, it does oh-so-much more. Stocker’s post has a lot of really great information regarding the PSI’s capabilities, but here are a few highlights:

For a start, PlayStation Eye was engineered from the onset to perform well in low-light conditions. It also has a 2-setting zoom lens (normal and wide angle) with fixed focus. What does that mean? Well, a lot less fussing around than previous cameras. PlayStation Eye gets a sharp, clear picture at 640 x 480 resolution at 60 frames per second (at 320 x 240 it looks even better at 120 fps)! It picks up image and motion in varying light conditions and doesn’t need your help to focus.

It also has a built-in 4-microphone array that allows you to enjoy online AV chat and in-game voice chat, in what we’re calling a “natural environment,” meaning, not awkwardly leaning toward your camera or speaking abnormally loud just so the mic picks up your voice. IMHO, this microphone really does do away with the need for a headset.

The PlayStation Eye does an excellent job of filtering out background noise for a clearer voice connection, but it also has twice the frame rate than most standard cameras (this is part of what sets it apart from any other webcam or camera for this generation of consoles), allowing for faster and more natural tracking, responsiveness and smoothness. I think if you take all of this into consideration, PlayStation Eye is an ideal camera for AV Chat on your PS3.

Sounds like it’ll be great for video chat if you’re into that sort of thing, but the rebranding of the Eyetoy to the Playstation Eye really indicates a new direction and purpose for the peripheral. No longer is it a mere plaything, but a tool that will have more and varies uses. Whether or not developers will be wooed by its functionality or not in the long term, who knows, but it has tons of potential.

Certainly, while Eye of Judgment is the main product pushing use of the PSI right now, that doesn’t mean that Sony won’t be supporting it otherwise. Free “EyeCreate” software will be available for download over PSN, as well as games like the marble-roller, Trials of Topoq.

Bonus: For some brightness comparison shots, check out TTP’s post on NeoGAF. Even in the darkest of settings, it’s ability to capture action is quite impressive.

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~ by Cavin Smith on October 10, 2007.

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