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PS4: early adopters not interested in camera interaction, says House

Thursday, 10th October 2013 01:54 GMT By Brenna Hillier

PlayStation 4 doesn’t come bundled with a PlayStation Eye camera because Sony knows early adopters don’t care about motion controls, according to SCE group CEO and president Andrew House.

In an interview with Business Spectator, House discussed Sony’s decision to leave the camera out of launch-day PS4 bundles.

“Certainly for the earlier part of the lifecycle, the vast majority of the audience that we speak to tells us that their primary wish is for the full controller interface and there’s not necessarily a huge emphasis being placed on camera interaction,” he said.

Leaving the camera out probably helps keep the console’s price down, too; the Xbox One comes bundled with a Kinect and is $100 more expensive than the PS4.

The executive said Sony is prepared to “adjust messaging” down the track if camera controls become something the core is after.

The PlayStation Eye camera works in a similar way to Kinect, but this generation Sony has added light bars to the DualShock 4, meaning the standard pad can function like the PS3′s Move controller.

The PS4 launches in November, which is only a few weeks away. So does the Xbox One. We’re all quite excited.

Thanks, CVG.

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33 Comments

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  1. pcbros

    I don’t care for the camera personally, especially if it’s poorly supported in the same way it was last generation.

    But by not including the camera, I don’t think it will have much of a chance for true success in the future. If you don’t care about the camera, then no problem. If you were looking forward to seeing how the camera could be used or you enjoyed the PS Move last-gen… I wouldn’t expect a whole lot of support this time around.

    #1 6 months ago
  2. sebastien rivas

    @1
    No one care or would care as long as various game genre and their devers dont give a crap about it to pull more experience, more intuitive experience, or even a logical experience in terms of gameplay, feature, and/or mechanics.
    MS shove it down gamers throat… let’s see if it will sink in dever’s heads. I can only expect in best scenario that a dever will have a bulb light lighting up in next 6 months. Otherwise, it’s goingvto be rough and leaving Sony on a world wide pedestal for best and most intelligent console manufacturer.

    Let’s wait and see :)

    #2 6 months ago
  3. Sylrissa

    Couldn’t care less about the Camera or the Kinect, thank you sony for giving me the option of just having the console by itself.

    I just wish MS would do the same thing with the kinect, so I could enjoy both consoles like I have during the PS2/xbox and ps3/360 gens.

    #3 6 months ago
  4. pcbros

    @2 – I don’t expect multiplatform games to showcase motion controls. It will be up to Microsoft and other exclusive games (AAA & indie) to show us why Microsoft made the better choice. The ball is in Microsoft’s court, they can win it or sink it.

    Now on the other side, if Microsoft feels the Kinect is not being well received, they could dump it and sell the console for $400. But that would be a big serving of humble pie.

    Best time IMHO to buy a new console, Spring 2014. A lot will have been proven by then. Right now, it’s a crap shoot.

    #4 6 months ago
  5. Fethennour

    At least Sony lets the customers choose if they want to buy the camera with their console, or not. Someone should have been inspired by them instead of forcing people to get a camera even when they don’t want to.

    #5 6 months ago
  6. ddtd

    @3 – it’ll be interesting to see what indies do with the Kinect 2 seeing how they have the same access to the hardware as a AAA publisher.

    #6 6 months ago
  7. oddeye

    If there is no camera in every box then it’s not going to guarantee that the people will use it. At least with the Xbox One, developers know everyone who buys it will have one. Since people expressed that they don’t want it, allow us to turn off the blue light so it doesn’t reflect in the TV.

    #7 6 months ago
  8. pcbros

    It’s a risky move on both parts.

    It’s nice to have the option to elect not to buy the camera but sometimes you can’t give the user full control.

    For example, should a gamer who buys a PS4/XB1 solely to play fighting games be given the option to buy a console without a game pad? That way he can get it for cheaper and buy a fight stick.

    Do I need to be forced into buying a 500GB HDD if I barely download anything? Should I be forced into paying for built-in WiFi, if I don’t have Internet?

    #8 6 months ago
  9. justerthought

    That’s a very wise call by House. Hardcore gamers are the early adopters and hardcore gamers don’t go in for gimmicks, so they will want to use a reliable accurate controller not a gesture gimmick. It makes real sense to remove it from the launch PS4 and come to market at a low price.

    Now look at Microsoft. You have got to wonder why they didn’t see that as well. The answer lies in the fact that the XB1 console is not targeted at hardcore gamers. The xbox brand has been hijacked to release a TV box on the masses in order to try and take over the living room. But MS have forgot that it still needs the hardcore gamers to early adopt it and get the ball rolling. That is why they messed up so bad on the first XB1 reveal by ignoring games and going all out on TV stuff.

    MS cannot remove the Kinect device because that is the cool selling gimmick for the multimedia crowd. Those consumers already have a multimedia content switching device. It’s called a TV remote control. The ability to do it hands free and impress your friends is the reason to get an XB1.

    Conclusion:
    Sony = in full control.
    MS = clueless and floundering.

    #9 6 months ago
  10. polygem

    i’m usually an early adopter for almost anything gaming related. both consoles are on preorder but the closer the release dates the less i feel interested in them at all. i still hope it will change but these machines smell like pure boredom to me. they’re not exciting. don’t know why i should buy them. this makes me sad.

    #10 6 months ago
  11. junguler

    well i love sony for not forcing us to buy things we don’t need, being a sony fan since psone i don’t really felt the need to go to microsoft or nintendo for that matter

    #11 6 months ago
  12. TheBlackHole

    This is total PR BS by the way. If it wasn’t already obvious.

    They removed the camera in order to beat MS on price, but they originally had every intention of bundling the camera. Until very late on in the process, actually.

    Sony are riding the positive press well enough, but they have had some lucky near-misses during this console launch, that’s for sure.

    #12 6 months ago
  13. _LarZen_

    Most gamers I know that are picking up a PS4 this year is going to buy a camera for it. They as me are going to use it to live stream games with video.

    Just like millions do on PC. It’s going to be great.

    #13 6 months ago
  14. Dave Cook

    @12 I agree. How long before a big game makes the camera a mandatory device and we all lose our shit?

    #14 6 months ago
  15. TheBlackHole

    @14 :)

    I think it’s more likely that the Kinect starts to show its promise (even as a menu navigation/player recognition device) and people realise how much it brings things forward.

    Simple things will make the world of difference…

    - Recognising me as I walk into a room and automatically logging me in

    - Knowing where I am in relation to other players in the room and changing the position of my split screen to accommodate it

    - Voice recognition for everything, including starting the console or voice chat

    - Full screen Skype chat in 1080p (I know my daughter especially will LOVE that)

    I’m still not convinced by either console, and Steam’s announcements have made me pause for thought on which direction to take with regards to living room gaming, but I think the people that push the most boundaries this gen will reap the rewards. Whether that’s Kinect, Haptic feedback controllers, Steamboxes, Digital library sharing, Ilumiroom, Oculus rift etc, it should be interesting.

    In that sense I feel Sony is lagging behind a little, as they really don’t have anything unique about their offering at all. I can’t think of any significant function or feature that isn’t at least partially replicated or utilised on another format.

    #15 6 months ago
  16. DrDamn

    @12
    Not sure how it’s total PR BS. They have a price point to hit, they have to make decisions based on that. I suspect the increase to 8GB memory was a factor. So they faced a choice of having the camera as part of the package or upping the memory to 8GB. I don’t see how what the core audience would have wanted wouldn’t have been a factor in that decision and that’s all he’s saying isn’t it?

    #16 6 months ago
  17. Lv01

    @13 im the same, im getting the camera with my PS4 launch day buy…
    but then singstar is the centre of the party round my place, and the camera makes singstar a better game. looking forward to seeing how singstar is brought to the PS4, incidentally.

    @14 agreed. but seeing as im getting the camera, im looking forward to the first big game demanding it!

    #17 6 months ago
  18. TheBlackHole

    @16

    No, it wasn’t one or the other – they originally planned to have relative price parity with MS. The removal of the camera was a larger price factor than 4gb of RAM.

    I think they made the right decision in the short term (for PR purposes), but I think they let MS have a point of differentiation in their console now, which is not a smart move.

    #18 6 months ago
  19. DrDamn

    @18
    It’s still part of a decision making process. We want to be cheaper than MS – we can by removing the camera – what is the impact of that? They’ve gone through that process and come up with the proposition they have.

    I think Kinect is clearly a more advanced camera solution and better integrated into the eco system too – so they would still have a point of differentiation and be the same price. Being cheaper is a point of differentiation in itself, especially if you can provide a lot of the experiences early adopters want at the same or better quality no?

    On top of that we also have the situation where neither MS or Sony have a compelling game which justifies the camera solution at launch. Profile recognition, split screen, voice control etc, nice features but a compelling enough reason for Kinect? Where are the games which justify it is a question a lot of people will be asking.

    NB: If/when I get an X1 I think inclusion in the way they did it will hopefully have been the best approach for *them*, I just think inclusion in the way Sony have done it is the best approach for *them* too.

    #19 6 months ago
  20. kingsuperdustin

    I honestly couldn’t care about a camera, and it’s one of the many reasons I decided on the PS4 over the Xbone. I buy a system to relax and play games, not flail like an epileptic ragdoll. If I want to work out, I’ll go to the gym. And as far as voice control goes, it’s nice, but my controller can turn the system on from across the room, so I don’t really see any need for it.

    #20 6 months ago
  21. Major Mayhem 70

    It kills me when people think that Xbox One isn’t targeted at hardcore gamers because they are making a play at controlling the living room. Let’s see here, if Forza, Killer Instinct, Dead Rising 3, Ryse and Titan Fall are examples of soft core games, I’d like to know what the definition of hardcore gaming is? Microsoft has implemented some touches to the X1 that I and many others find intriguing. I’m not worried if the system plays games. Putting some icing on the cake is what the extras is offering me.

    #21 6 months ago
  22. Ireland Michael

    @21 An uninspired racer in its fifth interation, a piss poor revival of an already terrible fighting game being made by a developer with a track record for dreadful games, a sequel to a franchise that was never good to begin with (with all the humour removed), God of War with QTEs, and CoD with robots.

    They may be “hardcore” games in the basic sense of the term, but that doesn’t stop it from being a hideous collection of uninspired video game cliches, without a single creative concept in sight.

    Literally the only game I’ve seen for the X1 that seems even remotely original is Project Spark. That’s it.

    #22 6 months ago
  23. Joe Musashi

    @19 “Being cheaper is a point of differentiation in itself”

    You just overloaded my common-sense-o-meter.

    Motions controls have had years to show their worth. To show they have advanced the medium in ways that make gaming a hollow experience without. This has not happened.

    The alternative is to sell something to people that they didn’t know they needed/wanted. Apple’s success can be attributed to this rule being applied over and over. Again, camera controls and motion-based input have had plenty of time to show whether the world at large has become enlightened to their new found necessity. This has not happened.

    The net result is pockets of people that like the idea. And pockets of people committed to selling the idea.

    JM

    #23 6 months ago
  24. monkeygourmet

    The Kinect isn’t really for the players. It’s MS’s way of saying to advertisers / media distributers:

    “Hey guys, you can use this for information harvesting, invest with us, it’s ready to go out of the box…”

    The only knock came when they said it wouldn’t have to be mandatory. You can still gaurentee a shit load of people leaving their Kinect plugged in or actually wanting the device to use for some features.

    They haven’t even bothered getting a pure Kinect 2.0 game ready for launch and removed many features from games like Crimson Dragon, which shows you they see it as a gaming tool second.

    Some experiences can be fun (party games) with some kind of camera control, but the Kinect 2 was definetly built with other things in mind.

    It all really depends on how many companies get behind what MS is doing and how much money it will make them (prob shit loads)… Not much to do with gaming but it’s an area of revenue Sony can’t hope to match without a similar device in the box at launch…

    #24 6 months ago
  25. pcbros

    @15 – Good points…

    #25 6 months ago
  26. TheBlackHole

    @23

    “Motions controls have had years to show their worth.”

    The fact the you’re talking about a camera’s only real use being motion controls says it all.

    There is much more to camera integration than motion controls. The first version of Kinect (and the 360′s software) was not really up to making the most of this. Hopefully, the XB1 might change that.

    @24

    Again, I feel like you’re missing the point somewhat.

    Kinect wasn’t included just so everyone could play Kinect games. It’s essentially a mix of hardware and software – it’s core to the experience Microsoft are trying to sell. Love it or hate it, it’s designed to enhance user interfacing (logging in, recognising new players or people in the room), ease the process of navigating between functions and features (snap mode, Bing search, voice control, gesture control), allow for non-game software to run natively (i.e. Skype)… it’s actually more likely that games are the LEAST important aspect of Kinect for this gen.

    I’m not convinced that the world is ready for this yet on a wide commercial level – Hell, they certainly weren’t ready for online check-ins, digital DRM, library sharing and no more second hand market (oh wait… what’s that Steambox? You’re doing those things and everybody loves you for it?), but Microsoft certainly tried to do something different.

    What do I get with PS4 other than a better machine and some great games? Okay, maybe that’s harsh, but I can’t see what Sony are really bringing to the table. Price isn’t enough, not £80.

    I don’t know, but I’m in my 30s now and have higher expectations. I don’t want my console to do everything, but I do expect it to do significantly more than it did last gen. And no, sharing some footage on YouTube does not warrant its own controller button.

    #26 6 months ago
  27. DrDamn

    @26
    “The first version of Kinect (and the 360′s software) was not really up to making the most of this. Hopefully, the XB1 might change that.”

    I’d really like Kinect 2 to live up to what Kinect promised and what they are now re-promising. I’m not yet convinced it will though. Articles like this don’t inspire confidence …

    http://kotaku.com/why-im-a-little-bit-worried-about-kinect-1381738496

    #27 6 months ago
  28. Riseer

    I have no interest in motion controls.

    #28 6 months ago
  29. bradk825

    Both companies are taking a certain risk and blazing a certain trail on the motion controls, it’s just a different risk for each. Both are valid strategies for valid reasons, and I am looking forward to seeing how it works out.

    PS4 is able to ensure they are a lower price, which will factor into holiday spending greatly. The flip side is they risk devs not giving a shit about investing in motion control for those who do have the camera.

    Xbox is ensuring devs know everying CAN (if not WILL) use the Kinect, and it’s worth investing in. However they are pricing themselves dangerously as a result.

    It’ll literally take years to decide who had the best strategy. At least in my opinion.

    #29 6 months ago
  30. Joe Musashi

    “The fact the you’re talking about a camera’s only real use being motion controls says it all. “

    Yeah. Well I’m actually someone that pays more than the average amount of attention to detail on most things. But feel free to keep banging the drum, because camera functions go back way further in gaming than just Kinect 1 and, as with motion controls, the gaming landscape remains completely unchanged as a result.

    The fact remains that Microsoft’s commitment to their camera – and by proxy, Microsoft’s True Believer’s commitments and PR blurb mantras – do not represent anything that gaming as a whole wants.

    The revolution has not happened. Not because of Ver 1.0 of something not being quite up to par but because nobody has yet delivered a meaningful application for these bolt-on devices that makes them indispensible.

    This includes those Kinect hackers Microsoft and certain gaming blogs made such a point of us hearing about, of their exciting new ways to use this amazing technology.

    Skyping yourself whilst playing a game is, I boldly predict, going to be about as common an application as Kinect will get. Game-changer this ain’t.

    For the pockets of gamers and optimists swallowing the PR hyperbole and elevator pitch ideals and having visions of acting out Tom Cruise’s office scenes from Minority Report, I’m sure this positively thrills them.

    For all the other people that couldn’t give two shits about cameras, motion controls, talking to a box that doesn’t talk back and the 19th iteration of a dance or sport game it’s perfectly clear why they baulk at being expected to invest in a gizmo that offers nothing meaningful to them. And why the insistence of its makers to pitch it as mandatory item rubs a lot of people up the wrong way.

    5+ years of motion controls, and far longer of camera functions and the world still shrugs. “Oh, but this time.. …!”. Meh.

    “It’ll literally take years..”

    The gaming world has given those years already. The disinterest being shown now is a reflection of the effectiveness of such a strategy. Why do the Kinect evangelists always overlook proven history??

    JM

    #30 6 months ago
  31. fearmonkey

    While I am absolutely sure that their will be a neat app or use for the Kinect 2 on Xbox One, I don’t really want one, and hate the fact that MS is making me buy it whether I want it or not.

    I am very glad that PS4 didnt go this direction, I just don’t care about the camera. Maybe I will in the future, but for now it’s $100 I don’t want to spend.

    The coolest thing I can think of for the Kinect 2 is using it to scan things for Project Spark.

    #31 6 months ago
  32. Legendaryboss

    What? I never commented? Bah…
    “Why do the Kinect evangelists always overlook proven history?”
    Because it suits them in their world. They say devs will support it but i can’t think of much examples outside of MS. And if its unproven whats it based on?

    My comment: Anyway i don’t like motion controls, PS4 and Xbox One (Forced pack-in) manufacturers both have strategies towards that will never help change that.

    Its like me getting a meal somewhere, they force something thats usually optional and jack up the price. The problem here is the optional part, the price isn’t its the optional part. Remove it and its smooth sailing. The problem i have with Xbox One is Kinect, remove it from the equation and then MS would truly be listening.

    #32 6 months ago
  33. Legendaryboss

    And also people PS3 and Xbox360 games do get support for motion controls, FIFA 14, Just Dance 2014 and many others are just examples and look at that no pack in necessary. In addition to manufacturer support.

    Developers/Publishers will do it if they choose to.

    #33 6 months ago