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Sony: Players will have "dangerous kinds of interactivity" in ten years time

If Sony Worldwide Studios chief Shuhei Yoshida is to be believed, it's just a matter of time before players will have access to "dangerous kinds of interactivity" with videogames.

Game developers will have access to once-unimaginable levels of real-time player data, which will enable them to develop camera technology able to detect player emotions, two Sony executives added.

As reported by Develop, Yoshida said that, within ten years, platform holders will have access to tech which will enable them to offer “almost dangerous kinds of interactivity” with the player.

“Games will eventually know more about the player,” he said last week at a behind-closed-doors gamescom panel debate.

He continued by saying that future technology would be able to read far more than player movement, and also detect where players are looking and their emotions.

“It’s really difficult to judge this, but I’d like to think that in ten years, game developers will have access to [this kind of] player information in real-time,” he added.

Mike Hocking, a senior director at Sony Worldwide Studios agreed with Yoshida, and he went to elaborate on his claim, suggesting that it might be possible to “involve the player as an actor, as a participant” in the future.

“Having a camera being able to study a player’s biometrics and movements [is possible],” he said, “so perhaps you can play a detective game that decides whether you’re lying due to what it reads from your face.

“In ten years’ time I’d like to think we’ll be able to form a map of the player, combining other sorts of sensory data together, from facial expressions to heart rate.

“You can see how, over a period of time, you can form a map of the player and their emotional state, whether they’re sad or happy.

“Maybe people in their social network can comment on it,” he continued. “The more accurate that map can become, the more we can tailor it to the experience.”

Mike didn't provide any concrete answers when asked if Sony had already begun internally testing this technology, and only said that the company is always doing “lots and lots of R&D in these areas”.

Kellee Santiago, co-founder of thatgamecompany, also took part in the gamescom presentation, and had a similar opinion regarding the possibility of having emotion-reading technologies in the future.

“Our goal is to have that kind of interaction as accessible as the eye, and being able to take that kind of information from even just observing the player’s face, or extracting an experience just by looking at the very subtle movements of a player’s body,” she said.

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