The Playstation Eye. This is the name given to the updated, Playstation 3 version of the Eye Toy. This was a fancy web cam for use with Sony consoles. The eye toy was in fact just an eye, but the Playstation eye is in fact a bionic version, with improved resolution, and an added ear (well, it’s got a built in microphone as well.). Now the reason I`m explaining all this to you is that the Eyepet comes bundles with said peripheral It also had a piece of shiny card the size of a cd box, with a handle and a white square on it (with a white paw print inside). The significance of this “card” will become apparent as this review rumbles on.
a valiant attempt from Sony to provide the next generation of kids, with a visual pet in your own living room
The eyepet was sent to YARS to review, and landed on my doorstep, as I’m the reviewer with kids in school, so would be able to check it out with it’s target audience first hand (and because daverage couldn’t get past the tutorial lol).
So after clearing some space on the floor in front of my tv, I rounded up the kids, who where suitably excited after seeing an ad for eyepet on the tv. After setting up the eye correctly, an on screen mad professor type, told us that he had a special creature pet thing (well, not in them exact words!), but it was still in its egg, and we had to heat it up, help it hatch. Now followed the basis of this virtual pet simulator, to play you basically have to perform various tasks in front of the Playstation eye, in relation to items shown on the tv screen, which appear in your own living room, with you. It’s a bit like seeing yourself on a in-store security camera at first. The before mentioned piece of card works like a milk bottle to feed the pet while small, and as a shower gel when you wash them etc.
Once your pet has been “born”, you can name it, play with it, and do various tasks (chores) , that will be ever so familiar to anyone who has ever played Nintendogs or the like. So far so good then, the kids loved feeding the little hairy monkey type pet which had emerged from the egg, and loved changing it’s appearance, and teaching it to draw, although it nearly didn’t get past the tutorial. I can see how daverage failed at the first hurdle. The main problem with this software is that the visual recognition gubbins are still not as advanced as the ideas…(a little bit like the excuse George Lucas used when he messed about and spoiled the first Star Wars trilogy!). There is one point in the training session that you have to get your hairy cutie to pounce on your wriggling fingers, much like a little kitten would do. Now you have to get it to pounce 3 times before you can more onto the next task. No matter how many times the kids tried. Monkey cat pet would get bored after 2 times and wonder off. Which is what my kids did after 15mins luckless, so called play. Luckily my male pride, and competitiveness kicked in, as I refused to get beaten by a mere kids toy. So after another ten minutes, I finally managed to get a third pounce in a row, and onto the next task.
To summarise, eyepet is a valiant attempt from Sony to provide the next generation of kids, with a visual pet in your own living room, and apart from a few limitations in the movement recognition, that sometimes threatens to stop this becoming fun, it pretty much does the job. The only problem being, like all kids, the eyepet is soon forgotten about, and the kids move onto the next big thing, which thanks to the snow has been sledging- maybe the add ons from the psn will re-ignite their interest…only time will tell. Until then it looks like its dad that will have to feed and exercise the virtual pet. Just like in real life (at least it’s an excuse to get on the ps3 for some sneaky Uncharted 2 multiplayer action!)
The Bad: some motions have to be too precise for target audience, with low attention spans!
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