'Playroom' tech demo shows off PS4's PlayStation Eye

By John Keefer, Jun 12, 2013 11:00am PDT

It may not come bundled with the PS4, but Sony also has a next-gen camera in the works. PlayStation Eye for PS4 will be available as a $59 peripheral, but what can it do? We got to see a tech demo called "Playroom" to see the possibilities.

A Sony representative said the demo was simply a way of showcasing how the new DualShock 4 worked in conjunction with the Eye. On the TV, a floating AI robot appeared, pouring a bunch of smaller robots into your controller. If you put your ear to the speaker you could hear little sounds supposedly coming from inside. The controller would rumble as the robots jumped inside the controller.

Like with previous Eye games, the showed an augmented version of the real-world room that we were in. Swiping up on the touchpad numerous times hurled the smaller bots out of the controller onto the floor, allowing me to interact with them with my hand. Pressing down on the touchpad, I could vacuum them all back into the controller.

Clearly, the Eye offers some sort of body-tracking, as I could interact will the AI bot by tickling its feelers, or batting at it. There's also some level of face-tracking: if all the people in the screen covered their faces, the robot would become sad, waiting everyone to come back and play.

The demo also offered a chance to play an AR hockey game, where the glowing strip on the controller acted as the paddle on the screen. Unfortunately the second controller did not work properly so we couldn't really test it out.

"Playroom" is not a product per se, and a Sony rep did tell me that the company currently has no plans to release it. However, Super Rub a Dub proves that Sony will eventually find a way to repackage and distribute this demo.

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