Sony EyeToy gets Sociable

Slowly and steadily, Sony is building on the usage and application of the ground-breaking EyeToy webcam add-on for their Playstation 2. The latest announcement is EyeToy:Chat, which expands the tool into a far more social area.

As you probably already know, EyeToy is a low cost Webcam that plugs into Sony’s Playstation 2 and is placed on top of the television, pointing into the room. The player controls the game by moving their arms, body and head around, which in turn interacts with the games. There is no need to use a joypad. It was originally released as EyeToy:Play and came with twelve mini-games; Kung Fu – chopping opponents, the inevitable dance games – Saturday Night Fever-style arm waving, even Keep-up – using the head to keep a ball in the air and knocking it into objects.

EyeToy: Chat brings voice, chat, video mail, video chat and a selection of video-enabled simple games such as chess and checkers. Utilising the broadband adaptor the text chat rooms allow 256 people to talk together, with 16 people able to converse at one time in the voice chat rooms, as well as real-time video. When people are in one-on-one video chats, the options to play the simple games are presented. The video mail feature will allow users to send 30-second video messages to anyone on their buddy list.

Clearly safety will be a big concern for parents and Sony’s London Studios, the original inventors of EyeToy, who developed Chat and have spent considerable efforts in trying to make the product as safe as possible. User will need to register with Playstation Net to use it and will only be bale to take part once they enter the PIN that is send to their home address. With Chat rooms being moderated and a clear processes for grievances Sony feels “‘EyeToy: Chat’ is one of the safest communication packages available on any system on the market.”

The whole of the Digital-Lifestyles office is looking forward to its European Summer release.