Opinion: What’s Next For Playstation Camera (PT1)

This is Part One of a two part feature

It was recently brought to my attention during a conversation with a friend that the PS Camera (PS4) currently has absolutely no games. For an accessory that totes some pretty impressive features and specs, it’s really got nothing to use them on. Well that’s not quite true but the list of games it utilises is very minimal. The Playroom, which is inbuilt on to all PS4 consoles is undoubtedly the most known, although it is more of a tech demo of what the PS Camera can do. War Thunder monitors your head tracking to turn your pilot in the cockpit of your plane, a concept which is also implemented in a few other games such as Battlefield. Just Dance is self explanatory, everyone should know what that game is about by now.

I think the point is clear there are very few games. Whilst the camera totes some ‘ok’ features, it’s nothing in comparison to the Xbox One’s Kinect. PS Camera allows for voice commands (Although I don’t know anyone who uses them) and Facial log-in recognition (which again no one I know bothers). In fact, the two main reasons that the camera may have been so popular to a point where it was almost a rare commodity at the beginning of this year was it’s social aspects.

Twitch/Ustream users are avidly using the camera to interact with their audience through means of conversation with the inbuilt microphone and video capture on their face, which has worked exceptionally well for horror games such as Outlast or Daylight. Another feature was that people were using the Playroom game/tech demo as a gate way into their own lives by combining this with the PS4 stream services, instances including general banter between mates as they all gather around to talk nonsense. I have seen self proclaimed developers partaking in interviews and divulging industry advice, I saw one excellent singer sit there and perform on an acoustic guitar and finally there have been cases where people expose themselves and proceed to sexually interact with another person or people on screen.

Like I said it was the features no one saw coming that proved to be the reason the PS Camera was selling like hotcakes; But what is in line for the future? Sure people are still going to parade on screen like they always have but what is next? Games like NBA 2K15 has allowed a facial scan option to get your head in the game – literally.

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This is where the conversation between the person who allured me to this topic started to take an interesting turn. Project Morpheus, the PS4’s answer to virtual reality. A head mounted display that has inbuilt Accelerometer and Gyroscope trackers as well as being tracked by the PS Camera for accurate in game movement. Basically as you turn your head the camera picks up on this and the virtual world in game reacts accordingly on screen for all too see and in your head mounted display.

Using the Dualshock 4’s light bar and PS Move controllers for input and again track placement by the PS Camera it looks to be an exciting new step forward, not only for Sony but the industry as a whole. Although it was only revealed to be in prototype stage at the Game Developers Conference earlier this year. I believe it is nearly a safe bet that it is close enough to its final form. It wouldn’t make any sense for Sony to reveal a prototype and have it drastically overhauled after all, as no doubt it would create chaos, confusion and uncertainty for their followers.

Combining the Morpheus, PS Move controllers and PS Camera would be a brilliant bundle for gamers, who up until that point have been reluctant to purchase a PS Camera as it’s library of games is some what lacklustre. For those of us who have already purchased the camera and waiting for titles. I have come to the  realisation that I should be considering the peripheral as an investment, as I along with what I am sure many other gamers are not really interested in the available games or unnecessarily getting my face all over PS4 live streams. The PS Camera’s time in the light is surely set to arrive with it’s partner Project Morpheus.

As I mentioned earlier this was a conversation between myself and friend. I’ve covered all the PS Camera related material we spoke off (among our conversational wanderings) but we also dove head first into some of the  potentials we believe to be lying with Project Morpheus itself. I will be bringing you the rest of that conversation in Part 2 of this feature.