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EyeToy, Innovation and Beyond

Richard Marks's Avatar + Posted by Richard Marks on Nov 03, 2010 // Senior Researcher, Sony Computer Entertainment America

Hi everyone – it’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years since the PlayStation 2 launched and 11 years since I first started here at Sony Computer Entertainment America. Over the last decade, I’ve had the privilege of working on some of PlayStation’s latest and greatest – the EyeToy being one of my first big projects when I joined the company in 1999.

eyetoy camera

The EyeToy USB camera was the first of its kind to translate your body movements into game controls, map your face onto in-game characters and more. It was created to allow you to physically interact with games, such as Antigrav, EyeToy Play and Kinetic, using your body. The unencumbered feeling of no wires and feeling free (instead of connected to your television) was very important, as was the simplicity of the controls. Everyone, even non-gamers, felt like they could just jump in and play, which was great. We learned a lot from our experience creating EyeToy, and it has definitely played a significant role in the development of PlayStation Move. We’ve pulled together a quick look back at the technology that started it all in the video below.

EyeToy helped us understand that while people definitely enjoy physical interaction and movement, they also want precise control and a simple, fast, reliable way to trigger actions. We also found that some experiences just feel more natural when holding a tool, or a “prop.” Seven years later, we’ve introduced PlayStation Move, which we think is the ideal combination of both spatial and action/button input. We here at PlayStation are always looking for ways to enhance the gamers’ experience and we’re looking forward to the new experiences PlayStation Move will enable over the next 10 years.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

//Add Your Own

86 Comments   10 Replies

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51

+ Vex_Doppel on November 3rd, 2010 at 10:37 am said:

We need an HD PSeye. The PSeye out now is ok for chatting and stuff but now thay your using it where we become part of the game I’m annoyed by pixelation.


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+ madtyger on November 3rd, 2010 at 10:43 am said:

Yes, people tend to forget that the motion gaming was around in the PS2 era. With the Move fully launched now, it would be nice to see an HD upgrade for the PSEye.


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+ Monkey4Sale on November 3rd, 2010 at 10:47 am said:

@everyone requesting an HD camera

I too would sign that petition


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+ TheGuardianFID on November 3rd, 2010 at 11:14 am said:

Richard, outstanding work on the MOVE, the PSEYE, and the EYETOY!!! I wish you and your team the best, keep up the great work and thank you!!! 8)


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+ pitythefool852 on November 3rd, 2010 at 11:23 am said:

I’d love an HD version of the Eye too, but would it be possible to make an HD camera that would send uncompressed video down the USB2.0 connection at 60-120Hz, and keep the cost down?

Right now the Eye does it’s job for PS Move extremely well, although augmented reality does need good lighting. Sony have done a very good job at near 1:1 marker tracking using legacy camera technology. Amazing job, Sony R&D

@Dr Marks

Have Sony considered looking at 3D camera technology or stereoscopic technology again recently? Is it something that you’d consider for a future PlayStation console?

There’s a nice stereoscopic concept image of a 3D stereoscopic Eye on Blog Share

s916.photobucket.com/albums/ad3/AnthonyTonyMagic/PlayStation%20Share/?action=view&current=3dEye.jpg

share.blog.us.playstation.com/ideas/2010/03/20/3d-eye-dual-camera-pseye-for-3d-video-chat/


    Richard Marks's Avatar

     

    + Richard Marks on November 3rd, 2010 at 11:41 am said:

    We continue to look at all kinds of camera tech, including various forms of 3d cameras. For the future, we will pursue whatever we believe can enable the most exciting entertainment experiences for our PlayStation owners. Thanks for the blogshare pointer; always like to cool ideas!


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+ Yahyan on November 3rd, 2010 at 11:32 am said:

it pisses me off when they say kinect is innovative, the eyetoy came out more than 5 years ago!


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+ polo155 on November 3rd, 2010 at 11:38 am said:

hey Dr R.M, at the nyc blog meet in nyc i met u, im in the wheelchair and asked you bout the calibrting the move for my seating and what u said works and the move is great with the navagator. as for the cam ps3 eye, i kno its a great cam i kno the specs and tell my peeps always lol your sister took the pic of us..

psn:polo155

twitter:polo155


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+ ForgiveMyAim on November 3rd, 2010 at 11:39 am said:

I agree, Kinect games are dull mini games


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+ Sindred on November 3rd, 2010 at 11:47 am said:

Mr. Marks.

Head Motion Tracking + Move + 3D + 3D game environment = the closest thing to a Holodeck in the home. If you could lean over and look at a piece of evidence on the floor in a virtual world, and the perspective changes on the TV to match your movement, and on top of that it’s 3D…the result would be amazing :)

Can’t wait to see what you guys have planned. Like I said, Kintect is 5 years too late. Now what can we do with the combination of the camera and the Move, and 3D Tech.

Snatcher 2: Detective Story with fully interactive 3D Heads Up Display.


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+ SpeedRacer1955 on November 3rd, 2010 at 12:12 pm said:

Mr. Marks could someone update the Eye Create Video software so it will work with the Video Editor and Up-loader software added to the XMB. Currently they are incompatible, something to do with version released before FW 3.41 etc. It is frustrating to have an application designed for creating and editing video on the PS3 and not have it work with another application designed to upload video from the PS3 to the Internet.


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+ pitythefool852 on November 3rd, 2010 at 12:28 pm said:

@SpeedRacer1955

I found a workaround for that problem. If you plug in a USB thumb drive, copy the video over to the drive and then copy it back to the PS3, it is then possible to upload it.

It still sucks that the two programs aren’t compatible with each other, and doesn’t make any sense at all. The whole video capture/video upload system needs to be revised to create a better end-user experience.


62

+ TarzanSr on November 3rd, 2010 at 12:41 pm said:

What is the highest resolution of Playstation Eye Camera for still shots and videos? Also, are there any remote free motion games out already?


    Richard Marks's Avatar

     

    + Richard Marks on November 3rd, 2010 at 3:41 pm said:

    PlayStation Eye has a 640×480 sensor. It can produce uncompressed 640×480 video at 60 frames/sec. In comparison, the EyeToy for PS2 produced 320×240 compressed video at 60 frames/sec. But the biggest difference is the image quality in low lighting; the PlayStation Eye is about 4 times more sensitive.

    As far as still images, many webcams advertise higher still image resolution compared to video, but they are often just up-scaling the sensor data to the higher resolution.


63

+ Nynja on November 3rd, 2010 at 12:50 pm said:

Mr. Marks,

Thank you VERY much for that info! I will be sure to try this out when I get home!

Great job on Move! I was skeptical at first. Now, after using PS Move, I’m loving the new way to interact with my games.

I don’t know why, but Sports Champions with all of the simplest mini-games is just outrageously fun!

Keep up the great work Marks!


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+ Insomnia999 on November 3rd, 2010 at 1:34 pm said:

Nice to meet you at the Boston meetup!

I just hope there is great support from developers to make great and unique games, and I hope we see some really innovative features in the games, user interface, and other software for the ps3.

Also, my local BestBuy just had their Move station installed by a Sony Rep=no in store hype before Kinect comes out this week. They said it was supposed to be installed over a month ago. On top of that, there is only one demo-sports champions with 2 sports to play! That is the Perfect environment to show off augmented reality(start the party, eyepet), hd graphics(tiger woods), time crisis/the shoot- you have to show that you are better than the competition. What is your marketing team thinking?! If mom and pop walk in the store and they see just ping pong/table tennis they are not going to replace the wii.


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+ Insomnia999 on November 3rd, 2010 at 1:36 pm said:

Also, Dr. Marks can you tell Sony to step up their game and give us the features we request-what’s the point of share? They have this community that spends all this money on them and to keep this support, grow it, and stay competitive they really should be addressing this. Maybe cross-game chat is not possible due to hardware limitations, etc., but where is auto-sync trophies, party system, etc.?


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+ zekececil14 on November 3rd, 2010 at 1:38 pm said:

Stupid people need to stop saying PS copied the Wii. How do you know that the Wii was being *made* first? The technology in the Wii is inferior to the Move. Sony was probably developing Move for a long time to perfect it. Nintendo needed a new console because the GameCube sucked, thus the Wii. Plus in that video there is an old tech demo with a stick and a colored ball on top. Huh, the Move is a stick with a colored ball on top. OPEN YOUR EYES! YOU ARE ON THE PS BLOG! DO SOME RESEARCH!


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+ Omen_20 on November 3rd, 2010 at 2:14 pm said:

I’ve been a fan since about 2004 and have always wanted to pick Richard Marks’ brain. How would someone go about getting hired or intern at SCE US R&D? I’m a senior and am now researching augmented reality for Android. I would love to work with the Move.


    Richard Marks's Avatar

     

    + Richard Marks on November 3rd, 2010 at 3:52 pm said:

    Ouch, picking my brain sounds painful. We post job reqs and sift through resumes just like other companies. But we also go to academic conferences and talk to university professors in relevant labs, and they often refer us to highly motivated students. Sounds like you are working on an interesting research topic now.


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+ thebiglouie on November 3rd, 2010 at 2:18 pm said:

On Halloween last Sunday, I had to entertain some small children after they were done trick-or-treating. They wanted to play a video game, but most of the games that I had were either too violent or too complicated for them to control.

Then I remembered the Eyetoy sitting in the back of the shelf. I dusted off my fat PS2, Eyetoy, and Eyetoy Play disc and let them play with it. They loved it! They kept playing it for an hour before they had to leave.

Eyetoy still entertains in 2010.

I was shocked when I read the back of the game case and saw that this game was made in 2003. I didn’t know it was that old.


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+ Archerkit on November 3rd, 2010 at 2:39 pm said:

Glad to see this post, how nicely timed! I bought the Move bundle shortly after it hit the shelves. I’m completely hooked on Sports Champions. I’m looking forward to trying out disc golf in real life – talk about video games getting one off the sofa!

I do have mixed feelings about the quality of the camera. Part of me thinks that the inclusion of an HD quality camera would leave less for the Kinect to brag about. But given that the Kinect is $150 for… a camera… my $150 investment in Move bundle + extra controller seems that much more valuable, and that an HD cam would have made the Move prohibitively expensive.

Keep up the good work with the Kevin Butler commercials. They do a nice job of accessing the family audience, which is essential. No need to target us techies, we already know all about it!

Hopefully great content will follow in masses. I have high hopes for Sorcery. Oh, if only that could have been released in time for the holidays. With Deathly Hallows coming soon, it would have been a natural sell. And if there’s ever an Elder Scrolls V with good Move+nav support, well – charge anything you want!

(continued in next post)


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+ Archerkit on November 3rd, 2010 at 2:39 pm said:

Additionally, please put some gentle pressure in various places: multiplayer for Sports Champions, more intuitive spin for High Velocity Bowling, and a golf game that combines Tiger Woods graphics with John Daly controls. :)

Anyway, so far the Move as exceeded my expectations, and it’s clear the tons of (what looks like fun!) research has paid off. Kudos, and keep going!!


71

+ jipmg on November 3rd, 2010 at 2:59 pm said:

you guys “NEED” to port over the old eye toy games like kinetic you listed to the PS STORE, day 1 for me


72

+ JumpMan33 on November 3rd, 2010 at 5:26 pm said:

Dr. Marks is a cool dude, Sony needs to make sure they hold on to this guy haha.

Please tell the software guys that we want to see Eye of Judgement 2 and Eyedentify (both with some kind of Move support) to become a reality!


73

+ KILLZONE79 on November 3rd, 2010 at 5:31 pm said:

Hey sony, can you sue microsoft for kinect cause thier slogan is you are the controller

that was eyetoys slogan first


74

+ Elvick_ on November 3rd, 2010 at 5:44 pm said:

GameTrailers totally trolled with that video by labeling it ‘EyeToy/Kinect Comparison’.

It worked too.


75

+ craiglaurence on November 3rd, 2010 at 6:11 pm said:

I’m not expecting a full HD eye for PS3, but Sony has to include this in the box for the next console aka PS4. But please make it compatible with the current Move controllers. Also go ahead and license the Primesense tech at the same time.


76

+ SmokeAdellic on November 3rd, 2010 at 8:34 pm said:

@34
I second that as well…….THAT WOULD BE AWESOME!!!
Also it would be a great idea for sony just to show up kinect because theres alot of casual gamers that dont know that ps eye can already do what kinect does.


77

+ TuxBobble on November 3rd, 2010 at 10:19 pm said:

Any chance of seeing EyeToy games re-released in the PSN Store as Eye games?

I never got into the EyeToy last generation on my PS2. But after seeing some of these retrospective videos showing the evolution of the EyeToy to Eye/Move, I saw a game called Kinetic that actually seemed like it would be a great small downloadable title. Added 3D support could go pretty far, although I haven’t taken the plunge for a 3D TV quite yet. The glasses are a bit much to pay for on a per-watcher/user basis right now.


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+ rawstory on November 4th, 2010 at 8:58 am said:

Love you Sony.

Instead of getting told…hey we’ll work to get the rest of the demos up asap…I get treated like I’m lying.

Um…it’s a horrible, horrible, horrible business decision to not put up all the demos for Move on the store. Time Crisis came out the other week but the demo isn’t on the store. Beat Sketcher, Start The Party and Echochrome 2 are not in the store…and one of the 10 demos you count, the minigolf one, doesn’t let you demo its move play functions.

But I’m the jerk. The guy who bought the eyetoy2 when it came out and got screwed over because I can’t play demos that people who bought the package that just came out can.


79

+ GreyLynx on November 4th, 2010 at 12:30 pm said:

BEYOND!
Anyway you guys really do amazing work, I think you should proposition companies to bring back Antigrav I believe with the Move and the Playstation Eye that’d be a fun experience to bring back. Oh and when you can please get in touch with the sorcery guys and give us a preview of what’s to come with that.


80

+ Terminator_TX3 on November 4th, 2010 at 4:29 pm said:

lol, Sony’s new ad should show the evolution from Eye Toy to PlayStation Eye to Move to 3D. Most people forgot about EyeToy or don’t know since gaming wasn’t as popular with the casual audience then.


81

+ somethingatt on November 5th, 2010 at 9:58 am said:

Sony cares about gaming and gamers.

MS has no problem releasing a broken tech to sell consoles.Shameful.

I hope Sony and Nintendo drive MS out of the market sooner rather than later, they are harming the industry with their money-first mentality.


82

+ Sweep14 on November 7th, 2010 at 1:38 pm said:

@Dr Marks
Hello Mister Marks. Just a thought from a french custommer.
Would it be possible to implement voice control for XMB apps, using the mic array of the PSEye ? This would be a cool feature.
Thanks for your reply.


83

+ Wingnutman1 on November 15th, 2010 at 9:01 am said:

Hey Richard! I have a few questions / concerns about the Playstation Eye I just bought as part of a “Move” bundle…

Firstly, is there a problem with the camera? It shows up certain fabrics that are black (my t-shir) as blue – same for our black couch…. Is this normal, or do I need to return the camera, or could you get Sony to release a statement? I’m pretty frustrated on this one…

Second, are there any PS2 Eyetoy games that will work on the PS3?
If not, why not? I need to justify this purchase to my wife, and up to now, there isn’t much available to justify the purchase. I just realized there were kinect style games for the PS2, but I don’t have a PS2!!


84

+ Wingnutman1 on November 15th, 2010 at 9:28 am said:

Hey Richard!

Have a look at this link, about halfway down. The guy took a picture of his cushion and it’s bright blue when seen through the eye!!!!!!

One other thing, when I use the PS3 chat, even though I have claibtated the echo through the xmb ther is still a god awful lag, and chat gets clipped after about 4 seconds of continuous talking. Is the mic on my camera defective?


86

+ LordRaoh on November 19th, 2010 at 8:49 am said:

Richard,

Not sure if anyone at sony still reads older blog entries but I was wondering if you, your staff or anyone at sony has looked into G-Speak.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyMVZqJk8s4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8GW9RHs6Ho

While kinect and Move are both cool technologies and everyone references minority report, one thing people tend to ignore is that even in the movie there was no such thing as completely hands free. In the movie and in the g-speak videos I posted it was all done possible with gloves providing the necessary communication to the camera for better accuracy that can not yet be done hands free.

just wondering if sony has any plans to incorporate similar type of technology.

Keep up the great work, looking forward to what you all plan to bring to us next.

Also please work directly with third party companies, if you leave it up to them they will not put in all the effort and take advantage of all the technology without direction from sony. Unlike the ps2 days of yesteryear, it seems third party devs and publishers want the consoles to hold their hands.


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