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Can the Playstation Eye already do what Xbox Kinect does?

Posted at 13 August 2010 00:00 CET by wconeybeer

Has Microsoft simply re-invented the wheel? That’s what I find myself asking the more I read about Kinect, the company’s motion-sensing Xbox 360 add-on due out this fall.

For those of you familiar with Sony’s PS2, you might recall that the original EyeToy was released back in 2004. Not that the EyeToy was very sophisticated back then, but it was the first major console device to have in-game motion-sensing capability.

The EyeToy eventually led to the development of the Sony Playstation Eye for the PS3, a much more advanced camera that also included audio recognition.

After watching a marketing video for the PS3 game Kung-Fu LIVE, posted by Kotaku, I searched out the technical specifications for both the Eye and the Kinect so that I could compare them head-to-head. Here’s what I found:

Both the Kinect and the Eye will support speech recognition, video chat, full body mapping capabilities and multiplayer modes (although it has now been revealed that the Kinect will not support more than 2 active players, a realization that is in conflict with what early marketing videos had shown).

Now, keep in mind that these are the specs that were leaked for the Kinect before Microsoft admitted that they would be downgrading the Kinect hardware in order to cut production costs. That change means that the Kinect camera will not be capable of the 32-bit color-depth setting.

There is also the little detail that the Eye only retails for $30, while the Kinect is going to debut at $149 this November.

So then, all things considered, is there really anything the Kinect can do that the Sony Eye cannot?

The answer is, sadly, nothing that I could find.

That’s not to say that the Kinect will be a bad device. I don’t plan to judge it until I see one in action. However, the Kinect is simply not the revolutionary device that Microsoft tried to make it out to be at this year’s E3. That said, if the quality is good enough, it will still make a pretty cool addition to my Xbox 360.

Update: We asked Microsoft representatives for the official Kinect specifications and for a comment on this story. Here is their response:

“We aren’t releasing final product technical specs for Kinect until closer to launch. Since we don’t comment on rumors or speculation, we have no official response to your opinion piece.”

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There are 14 comments

debro
Blown to smitherines
Posted on: 13 Aug 10 02:46
    So .. Sony's PS3 Eye is cheaper, and mops the floor with Microsofts Xbox360 Kinect.

    I hope Microsoft releases some killer games with that crap fest of a camera

    I think you can buy a crappy USB logitech camera with better specs than the Kinect for $30au - retail.

    So I guess that you're paying most of the $150 for the xbox360 software to interface the dodgy camera to the xbox 360 with Microsofts approval

    Seems like microsoft is taking a page from Apples book
    Blu-rayFreak
    MyCE Resident
    Posted on: 13 Aug 10 05:17
      That Kung-Fu LIVE game looks pretty awesome, if the game play is as fun as they make it look in that whacky commercial.
      BigTwitchy
      New Member
      Posted on: 13 Aug 10 09:31
        This article is bs. I dont like or really even want the Kinect but there is more to it than what this article is saying. Kinect has facial recognition, but does PS Eye? Nope. Kinect can scan certain objects into a game, but can PS Eye? Nope. The PS Eye also does not have full body recognition it only detects body movement. It cannot tell if what is moving is your arm or your leg or your head. Also those Kinect specs are rumored not official. So treat that info with a grain of salt. And even if those are the specs the 32-bit color depth sensing isn't really a required feature or even that useful. I doubt many people would care if they are seen in higher quality color when they most likely wont be seeing themselves but once in a while. This article is really just misinformation. However I do have to say that Move looks a lot more promising and a lot more fun.
        ivid
        MyCE Resident
        Posted on: 13 Aug 10 16:55
          I believe kinect has multiple cameras in the device for 3D perspective whereas the eye is a single webcam type of camera.
          Blu-rayFreak
          MyCE Resident
          Posted on: 13 Aug 10 17:04
            Quote:
            Originally Posted by BigTwitchy
            Kinect can scan certain objects into a game, but can PS Eye? Nope. The PS Eye also does not have full body recognition it only detects body movement. It cannot tell if what is moving is your arm or your leg or your head.
            You're wrong, watch the Kung-Fu LIVE demo: http://kotaku.com/5611048/put-yourself-in-a-ps3-game-then-kick-someones-ass
            BigTwitchy
            New Member
            Posted on: 13 Aug 10 20:13
              Quote:
              Originally Posted by Blu-rayFreak
              You're wrong, watch the Kung-Fu LIVE demo: http://kotaku.com/5611048/put-yourself-in-a-ps3-game-then-kick-someones-ass
              Actually you are wrong. Putting your body in game is one thing, but I am talking about actually scanning in things like something you have drawn on paper as shown in the Milo demo. Not sure how else it will work though. Although it would be cool if say I drew some cool graphic or logo and then scanned it in to say forza and applied it as a sticker.

              Quote:
              Originally Posted by ivid
              I believe kinect has multiple cameras in the device for 3D perspective whereas the eye is a single webcam type of camera.
              Yeah thats true too. The 2 cameras allow for 3d depth similar to how the human eye sees. If you want to see how that would affect the game then watch the forza kinect demo. In it a guy is able to walk back and forth around and away from a car.
              bruce_k2
              New Member
              Posted on: 13 Aug 10 20:40
                Eye Pet for the PS3 has the ability to have scanned objects into the game. Unless I'm missing something here.
                Blu-rayFreak
                MyCE Resident
                Posted on: 13 Aug 10 20:52
                  @BigTwitchy, as I said, you're wrong. The EyePet game allows users to scan in drawn or other objects into the game: http://kotaku.com/5039467/eyepet-brings-virtual-monchichis-to-playstation-3

                  Kung-Fu LIVE uses the PS Eye to detect if the player's leg or arm is moving to perform punches and kicks, refuting your previous statement that the Eye could not do that.

                  @bruce_k2 you're right.
                  AnthonyTony
                  New Member
                  Posted on: 13 Aug 10 21:17
                    Check out this trailer from an early build of the European (pre-PS Move, even pre-PS3 Slim) version of EyePet
                    youtube.com/watch?v=aPENA1Bpm68

                    You could scan drawings in and then control them in game. The pet even interacted with the drawings on-screen.

                    Kung Fu Live uses skeletal mapping to judge where your limbs are so that you can fight using punches and kicks in game, as well as move using gestures. The system knows the shape of your body, and edits out all the people and objects around you leaving just yourself on-screen.
                    youtube.com/watch?v=16fRHuaVzNk&hd=1

                    Of course Kinect has a 3D sensor which makes this kind of control easier to implement, but it isn't really as new as Microsoft and the media are making out.

                    Thing is, most parents and little kids will have never played or heard of the EyeToy. PS3 and PS Eye can do most of what Kinect can do, but Kinect is being packaged and marketed well.
                    debro
                    Blown to smitherines
                    Posted on: 14 Aug 10 03:46
                      Quote:
                      Originally Posted by AnthonyTony
                      PS3 and PS Eye can do most of what Kinect can do, but Kinect is being packaged and marketed well.
                      Quote:
                      Originally Posted by debro
                      Seems like microsoft is taking a page from Apples book
                      jaxtek
                      New Member
                      Posted on: 15 Aug 10 04:52
                        Quote:
                        Originally Posted by BigTwitchy
                        This article is bs. I dont like or really even want the Kinect but there is more to it than what this article is saying. Kinect has facial recognition, but does PS Eye? Nope.
                        I think that has more to do with the software behind it, not the hardware.

                        Quote:
                        Originally Posted by BigTwitchy
                        Kinect can scan certain objects into a game, but can PS Eye? Nope.
                        Yes it can.

                        Quote:
                        Originally Posted by ivid
                        I believe kinect has multiple cameras in the device for 3D perspective whereas the eye is a single webcam type of camera.
                        Both devices track XYZ motion, meaning both track in three dimensions.
                        Blu-rayFreak
                        MyCE Resident
                        Posted on: 16 Aug 10 19:07
                          Quote:
                          Originally Posted by Microsoft
                          “We aren’t releasing final product technical specs for Kinect until closer to launch. Since we don’t comment on rumors or speculation, we have no official response to your opinion piece.”
                          Nice non-response from Microsoft. Sounds like they're scared to release the official Kinect technical specifications?
                          jaxtek
                          New Member
                          Posted on: 16 Aug 10 19:17
                            Quote:
                            Originally Posted by Blu-rayFreak
                            Nice non-response from Microsoft. Sounds like they're scared to release the official Kinect technical specifications?
                            Yup. They're going to release them when it's already too late.
                            sg1974
                            New Member
                            Posted on: 11 Sep 10 03:12
                              Quote:
                              Originally Posted by BigTwitchy
                              This article is bs. I dont like or really even want the Kinect but there is more to it than what this article is saying. Kinect has facial recognition, but does PS Eye? Nope.
                              Kirk Bender of SCEA explains how the head-tracking and facial recognition works, and what it can do:

                              "PlayStation Eye can identify individuals based on their facial characteristics. It does this by recognising characteristics like face contours, the position of the eyes, nose, mouth and eyebrows in real-time," he reveals. "It can determine the degree of smiling, the gender, the age. It doesn't give a numeric age - fortunately! It can tell if you're a child or an adult. It can detect whether your eyes are open or closed."

                              So, talking of misinformed bullshit, care to withdraw your comments? You've already been taken apart by other people, so save some dignity and put your hand up to making crap up.

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