Sony announces PlayStation Eye; camera and mic combo due this summer

We all knew that the next Eyetoy was on the way and for the first time, Sony has announced and shown the details of their next-gen PlayStation 3 version — which is slated for release this summer. Now this is the kind of innovation we need, right? Here are the features:

• A sophisticated microphone with the ability to reduce background noise and focus on spoken word for smoother, more accurate speech recognition
• Engineered to perform in low-light conditions
• Faster frame rate for improved tracking, responsiveness and smoothness
• Two position zoom lens for close-up and full body options
• Free EyeCreate(TM) editing software, which allows users to save, edit and add cool visual effects to photos, video and audio clips
• EyeCreate also enables user to capture videos and audio clips directly to your PS3’s hard disk drive and access a range of different capturing modes, including slow motion and time-lapse.

As cheesy as it sounds, the possibilities are pretty endless with something like this. The only real barrier, much like the previous Eyetoy, is software companies actually make good games that utilize the device.

Full press release after the jump. 

 

 PLAYSTATION(R) Eye Brings Next-Generation Communication to PLAYSTATION(R)3
                                       
Intelligent Camera and Noise-Cancelling Microphone in One Sleek Package Offering Expands Gaming and Communication Options

FOSTER CITY, Calif., April 26 /PRNewswire/ — Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) today announced the arrival of the next-generation PLAYSTATION(R)Eye camera. Scheduled for a Summer release, PLAYSTATION Eye is an essential accessory for voice, video chat and online gaming that will enable gamers to enjoy their PLAYSTATION(R)3 (PS3(TM)) Computer Entertainment System experiences like never before.

Designed specifically for PS3 and featuring huge advances in USB camera
and microphone technology, PLAYSTATION Eye is set to revolutionize the
experience of both interactive gaming and online communication on the
PLAYSTATION(R)Network. Expanding on the market-leading heritage of EyeToy(R) USB camera for PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system, the sophistication of PLAYSTATION Eye naturally complements the advanced features and capabilities of PS3 — all in one intelligently designed, unobtrusive unit.
   

Designed specifically to work with the next generation of social gaming
titles and new services being developed for PS3, key features of the
PLAYSTATION Eye include:

    * A sophisticated microphone with the ability to reduce background noise and focus on spoken word for smoother, more accurate speech recognition
    * Engineered to perform in low-light conditions
    * Faster frame rate for improved tracking, responsiveness and smoothness
    * Two position zoom lens for close-up and full body options
    * Free EyeCreate(TM) editing software, which allows users to save, edit and add cool visual effects to photos, video and audio clips
    * EyeCreate also enables user to capture videos and audio clips directly to your PS3’s hard disk drive and access a range of different capturing modes, including slow motion and time-lapse.

    “With the release of PLAYSTATION Eye we will be able to dramatically
enhance the consumer’s PS3 experience,” said Richard Marks, research and development at Sony Computer Entertainment America. “Beyond audio/video chat and the ability to save videos to your PS3 hard drive, PLAYSTATION Eye opens up a whole new world of entertainment options and adds a new dimensions to games across multiple genres.”

    EyeCreate software
    The free EyeCreate editing software, allows you to save photos, video and audio clips to your PS3 hard disk drive and apply eye-catching visual effects to your images.  Different capture modes like time-lapse and slow motion open up a world of possibilities to be explored further in EyeCreate’s editing suite, where you can turn your media into professional-looking movies.

    New microphone functions
    An all-new four microphone array, incorporating multidirectional voice
location tracking, enhanced echo cancelling and background noise suppression allows for clear audio chat in even the most noisy of environments, without the need to hold or wear a headset.

    Next-generation camera features
    A frame rate of up to 120 frames per second allows for super-smooth video and sophisticated low-light operation means that the room doesn’t have to be brightly lit for the camera to deliver crisp, perfectly exposed video.  The adjustable zoom lens features a 56 degree field of view to capture head and shoulders action for close-in audio-visual chat, and a 75 degree field of view to capture the whole body for a fully physical gaming experience.

    Technical Specifications:

    — 4 channel audio input:16 bits/channel, 48kHz, SNR 90db
    — 56 degree or 75 degree Field of View zoom lens
    — 2.1 F-stop, < 1% distortion, fixed focus (25cm to 8 at 75 degree FOV)
    — 640 x 480 at 60 frames/second
    — 320 x 240 at 120 frames/second
    — USB2 high-speed data transfer
    — Uncompressed video or optional JPEG compression

Robert Summa