There is no doubt that the Playstation Eye will be a welcome addition to the accessory line for the PS3, but what makes it so special? Why is it so much better than the EyeToy? Newsweek recently interviewed Dr. Richard Marks and this is what he had to say. If you’re not sure who Richard Marks is and you’re salivating over the Eye then I’m not sure you can call yourself a Sony fanboy because he’s the ‘Father of the EyeToy’. Dr. Marks also tells us that cost model used for the Eye was the EyeToy, so I’d suspect the price won’t be that bad.
I’ll try and make this as painless as possible with a summary of the interview. Marks and Sony had a long list of design features that they tried to cram into the Eye and after several usage scenarios they decided to focus on interactive gameplay, communication, low light performance and uncompressed video for faster FPS and what emerged was something rather special.
The communications aspect of the Eye was focused on because games are incorporating more voice recognition since the technology has been evolving and getting better each day. Marks wanted to ensure that voice input for the Eye was top quality while being cost effective. Microphone arrays are the key component in making the Eye the best hands free system for the PS3. It affectively cuts out ambient noise and filters out game noise from the PS3 so your buddies can hear you loud and clear no matter where you are in the room.
Sony and Omnivision, Sony’s sensor chip manufacturer, designed a camera where each pixel is able to absorb more light and produce the best picture quality available. Marks goes on to say that the first prototype was able to image him with only the light emanating from his monitor.
If you want the best picture quality and responsiveness then Marks suggests you use the 640×480 setting because the 320×240 setting is geared towards high speed tracking that isn’t visible on screen, but allows the PS3 to track movement twice as fast whether you see it or not.
The Eye seems like the real deal, but we won’t know for sure until it’s released and we get our mitts on it. Oh and I still think it looks fugly. :)