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Sony: PS4 Early Adopters Don't Care About The Camera

Jonathan Lester
PlayStation Camera, PS4, Sony

Sony: PS4 Early Adopters Don't Care About The Camera

But They May "Adjust Messages" Later

Sony Computer Entertainment president Andrew House believes that most PS4 launch customers aren't the least bit interested in the PlayStation Camera peripheral, and that making it optional has let them hit the "magic price" compared to the pricey Xbox One and mandatory Kinect sensor.

As such, don't expect many games to use it until Sony "adjust" their strategy down the line.

House discussed that "magic price" in an interview with Business Spectator, suggesting that the PS4's pre-order fanbase couldn't care less about motion control. Thus, not only is the peripheral just an optional gimmick, but there won't be much to do with it either. “Certainly for the earlier part of the lifecycle, the vast majority of the audience that we speak to tells us that their primary wish is for the full controller interface," he said, "and there’s not necessarily a huge emphasis being placed on camera interaction."

Interestingly, though, House is willing to "adjust messaging" down the line, which means that Sony may decide to launch a major push for the peripheral or even include it as a standard pack-in once the console is established. Though, frankly, it may be a little late since the user base will already be fragmented - and most will be happy with a DualShock 4.

Conversely, Microsoft have stuck to their guns by making Kinect a core part of the Xbox One UI and guaranteeing developers a customer base, but at an additional £80 cost to consumers. Which strategy do you think will win out, or are they both equally viable?

Add a comment8 comments
XBfan  Oct. 10, 2013 at 11:13

I love my SPORT and TV so I'll stick with my Xbox One preorder. I don't really like gaming anyway, so the lower spec doesn't worry me.

JoePublic  Oct. 10, 2013 at 11:16

Good for Sony for not going down the route of forcing it on everyone.

Kinect is utterly useless as a game controller for anything but basic game controls, and using it to control the UI is equally pointless when the buttons on a controller are quicker and simpler. Kinect 2 may be more accurate and have less lag, but it's still extremely limited as an input device.

The problem is that Microsoft invested a fortune in a gimmicky technology that no-one really cares about, but rather than just admitting it and letting it go, they spent a fortune giving away thousands of the original unit on TV shows etc. trying to convince people it was the next big thing. Most have now seen how useless the tech is for anything remotely useful in gaming, so what do Microsoft do? They tie it in to the core of their new system so that it is *required* in order to use it. Because as any retailer knows, the best way to shift crap that no-one will buy is to bundle it with something more desirable. That said, judging by numerous polls and pre-order figures, not too many want the new Xbox either.

DesG  Oct. 10, 2013 at 11:35

As soon as MS release a version without the camera for £80 less, you'll know which strategy was best!

Its a console for playing games, didn't they get the message with the Kinnect v1, gamers don't want it, non-gamers are not going to spend near £500 on an 'entertainment system'.

Quietus  Oct. 10, 2013 at 12:06

I agree with Sony. People might be interested in motion controls, but gamers - those that actual buy games regularly throughout each year - couldn't care less.

On another note: Any chance of getting a preview button for replies? That way, I don't have to post, and then find out that I've missed a tag, or botched a quote?

Last edited by Quietus, Oct. 10, 2013 at 12:07
NostromoXP  Oct. 10, 2013 at 12:48

didn't they get the message with the Kinnect v1, gamers don't want it

Vocal gamers on dedicated gaming websites may not want it but according to all of the figures out there they have sold over 24 million kinect's so far.

Granted many of these may be sitting unused and the people who bought them aren't likely to rush out and buy an XO but MS are playing the long game here and looking at the figures alone kinect is a popular successful peripheral, hell it's even got the Guinness World Record of being the "fastest selling consumer electronics device". so you can see why they are confident (if a little delusional) about selling it with every XO.

We will see if the strategy works, but if MS aren't loosing money with each console sold then they can afford to play the long game unlike Sony who need sales ASAP hence the cheap price point.

Late  Oct. 10, 2013 at 13:19

didn't they [Microsoft] get the message with the Kinnect v1...

I'd say Microsoft learned a lesson, and Sony didn't, to be honest.
Microsoft can see the potential in Kinnect. As it was optional and most folk didn't have one most developers pretty much ignored it and it never came even remotely close to fulfilling it's potential.

This time round they're making sure everyone has one, and as a result developers will put more into utilising it. I'd imagine most of the results for the first year or two will be pretty lame, but there's massive potential in there and hopefully we'll see that come to fruition more and more over the next few years.

Sony on the other hand seem to have largely ignored the Kinnect 1.0 lessons, and have developed and released a peripheral that isn't much wanted and won't be supported. Sales of the camera will of course be slow. VERY slow. After all, if you wanted a camera you'd probably be looking at Microsoft's offering rather than Sony's.

Sony do have an advantage next gen over Microsoft's position last gen, though. Developers are going to be incented to put the camera to use for the xb1 - and that may well result in good "better with ps-camera" games turning up for the ps4 in the coming years.

DivideByZero  Oct. 10, 2013 at 13:51

I personally couldn't care about the camera, so releasing without is fine by me. If down the line you get some great games on Kinect 2 / Eye toy 3 then it may become a feature that I want.

For now though, I'll just have to manage without the next Dance Central.

Last edited by DivideByZero, Oct. 10, 2013 at 13:52
X10  Oct. 10, 2013 at 13:52

I agree with Late here overall.
How many films do you see with interactive light based touch displays/interfaces.

The Kinect was a first step to this and Kinect 2.0 will be another increment into MS's long term goal.

Sure, if you consider motion control as a gaming device then it may be a long way off, but if you think about it in terms of an entertainment system (which is where XBone has placed itself so far) it could be a very good interface.

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