September 25, 2007 // 2:36 am
- The Eye of Judgment is set to ship on October 23 exclusively for the PlayStation 3. The game is special in that it requires the PlayStation Eye to play it, though luckily said device will be included in the package. The successor to the PlayStation 2's EyeToy, the PlayStation Eye is Sony's webcam device that will allow you to interact with your games in ways that a standard controller can not, like using your whole body to play a game.
We received a couple builds of The Eye of Judgment in the office today along with a couple PlayStation Eyes for testing purposes. While we've had numerous chances in the past to play the game, we hadn't yet had the ability to run the PlayStation Eye through its paces, so that's exactly what we did.
In practice, the PlayStation Eye works almost exactly the same as the EyeToy does with regards to its settings and whatnot that you'll find on the PS3. In the Accessory Settings under Camera Device Settings, you can view a preview window of what the camera sees and can change between either 50hz or 60hz display settings (to get rid of crawling lines on screens in the background). As of right now there are no options for capturing snapshots or videos directly to the system, but hopefully Sony will add at least rudimentary functionality for this with a future firmware update.
Whereas the EyeToy functions only as a camera, the PlayStation Eye has a built-in microphone to pick up your voice or whatever gross sound effects you wish to send your friends' way. Our voices seemed to get picked up and come through pretty clearly when testing this via a chat session, negating the need for wearing a headset while playing online. Of course, you'll then need to pipe voices through your TV when not wearing a headset, but the experience is much more comfortable.
Aside from its microphone, the PlayStation Eye bests the EyeToy in that it has two levels of zoom and utilizes an auto-focus feature so that you don't have to manually twist the lens in order to get a clear picture. While the two zoom levels is nice, the auto-focus makes setup a whole lot easier. As well, it resulted in a clear picture throughout its image, whereas some background stuff seen on the EyeToy may have come out blurry. For those of you with questionable posters on your wall, this might be a bad thing. The PlayStation Eye also refreshes its image noticeably faster than the EyeToy, matching the silky image of a video camera.
While all that is good news, the actual image quality isn't quite as good as we'd hoped. As you can see in some of the images below, the color levels of the EyeToy often looked more natural and it seems to deal with darkness better than the PlayStation Eye. The Eye's images often appeared to be greener than they should be, and there's a lot of graininess in dark scenes.
It's possible that some of these clarity issues could be worked out in a firmware update as some of what's happening here could be software-based (like the green tint to some images), but the darkness and close focus issues will likely stay for good.