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What is the PlayStation 4 Eye and what does it do?

After showing us the PlayStation 4’s DualShock 4 controller last night, Sony very briefly showed something called the PlayStation 4 Eye. What is it? What does it do? Sony didn’t tell us at first, but now we know.

Eye is a slim black box that connects to the PS4 itself, with cameras and various other gadgetry crammed inside for many purposes. Inside there are two 1280 x 800 resolution cameras with a wide 85-degree field of view and four microphones – it’s quite similar to the contents of Microsoft’s Kinect, it would seem.

These two cameras will be able to track movement, both of the gamer and the DualShock 4 controller. Sony president Shuhei Yoshida himself confirmed that “it also works like a PS Move,” so it looks as though gamers will be able to move the DualShock controller around to control aspects of some games, as well as wave their limbs around to move things in menus and games.

“It’s an extension of the PS Move technology that we incorporated into the DualShock so that the camera can see where it is” says Yoshida. It seems that where you are in the room will affect how some games are played out, which certainly sounds intriguing.

Having two cameras in the unit allows one to focus purely on delivering an image of its surroundings to the console, while the other will be used to detect you and the controller.

Sony had the EyeToy accessory on PlayStation before, and some of those features will be used in the PS4 Eye. In the future gamers will be able to record 3D pictures and videos of themselves, with the dual cameras recording stereoscopically and of course then upload them online with the new Share function Sony talked about last night.

As for the four microphones in the Eye, we suspect they will be used Kinect-style to allow voice control of the system and some games. Yoshida confirmed that games will include voice control aspects but didn’t elaborate on controlling the console system itself vocally, although it seems a likely use.

It’s still unclear whether every PlayStation 4 will come with the Eye accessory or whether it will be a separate purchase for gamers.

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