When the PS4 launched, it came as a surprise to some when Sony opted against shipping the PlayStation 4 with its additional PlayStation Camera included. Making it so customers had to buy a PlayStation Camera separately instead of bundled in.
Sony’s decision to make the PlayStation Camera an optional device to keep the PS4 price more affordable was a great move when the PS4 launched in 2013.
Now, years have gone by since the PS4 first released and the PlayStation Camera just became far more relevant with PlayStation VR.
Surprise, a lot of people want to buy a PlayStation Camera
Now that some time has passed since the launch of the PS4, it seems gamers are far more interested in the PlayStation Camera than anyone thought. It’s sold quite well on its own and though its features remain limited, the PlayStation Camera plays a huge role with things like voice commands and video game streaming.
If you’re a PS4 owner yet to pick up the PlayStation Camera then that’s not such a shock. But it’s starting to look like now’s the time to pick up one of the PS4’s most popular accessories.
And with that – here’s five reasons why it’s worth buying the PlayStation Camera.
1. PlayStation VR
If you haven’t heard of PlayStation VR then here’s a little summary for you. It’s Sony’s affordable and more mainstream virtual reality headset that allows all PS4 and PS4 Pro owners the opportunity to have virtual reality right in their living room.
For Sony, PlayStation VR is the future of gaming that makes it a must have for PS4 owners. And even though PS4 virtual reality is in its infancy, the PlayStation VR is already delivering some incredible gaming experiences that have never been seen before on a console.
So how exactly does the PlayStation Camera play a role with PlayStation VR?
The PS VR headset will use its inbuilt accelerometers in conjunction with the PlayStation Camera’s motion sensor to provide real time visuals and a seamless virtual experience. The two devices are what make virtual reality in your home a possiblity.
It’s required that you have a PlayStation Camera for PlayStation VR to work. So make sure that you either buy a PS VR bundle with the PlayStation Camera included or that you buy a PlayStation Camera separately when you get PS VR.
2. The price of the PlayStation 4 Camera
When it comes to buying a PlayStation Camera, the one factor that’s going to play a pivotal part in the decision for most people is the price.
At it’s current price, the PlayStation Camera comes in at a cost less that that of a new DualShock 4 controller. This means that the PS4 Camera is at a pretty inexpensive amount when considering it’s something you’re likely to use each time you boot up your PS4 or PS VR.
The PS4 also comes preloaded with a copy of The PlayRoom (somewhat surprising considering the camera isn’t included with the console). The PlayRoom is a nice little collection of games and demos that make use of the PlayStation Camera’s features. So it won’t be necessary to spend an extra $40-$60 for a game that works with the camera.
That being said, The PlayRoom remains one of the only collections of games and demos to take advantage of the PlayStation Camera. So it’s more the features and use with PlayStation VR that make it worthwhile at it’s current cost.
3. Features and functionality of the PS4 Camera
Despite its current lack of compatible games, Sony has made a massive effort to ensure the PlayStation Camera provides a great experience for the PS4. The device is fitted with two cameras and begins working the moment you switch on the console, allowing users to log onto their PlayStation profile using facial recognition.
Two cameras, you ask?
This helps optimize the performance of the device and, among other things, enables the PlayStation 4 camera to calculate a player’s distance from the screen and capture screenshots of them without snapping the background too.
It’s also got four built-in microphones that enable a number of voice commands. These work in a similar fashion to the Xbox One’s Kinect; the user begins their command with the word PlayStation then follows that up with another keyword to make things happen.
For example, “PlayStation home screen” will take you back to the dynamic menu. The PlayStation Camera’s voice commands are smooth and responsive and a great addition to the console’s already rich interface.
4. The design of the PlayStation Camera
Unlike Microsoft’s bulkier Kinect, the PlayStation Camera is slim, sleek and a great addition to any gamer’s setup. There is the older version of the PlayStation Camera and the new updated version that can be seen throughout the images in this article.
The PlayStation Camera fits nicely atop most modern HDTV’s and can be wall mounted, too. The small size of the PS4 Camera does not inhibit its performance either, and gamers can expect responsive voice and motion controls.
5. Streaming with the PlayStation Camera
Perhaps one of the more exciting features for the PlayStation Camera is its ability to capture a player’s face and display the footage alongside their gameplay when broadcasting a live stream with Twitch.
The inbuilt streaming ability has already been on the receiving end of much praise by the gaming community. And with the PlayStation Camera, players can now add live commentary to their broadcasts, making them all the more engaging and interactive.
Live streaming has become a huge part of the gaming community and there are even a multitude of gamers who make their living this way. Live streaming on the PS4 with the camera is simple, fun and can even possibly make you some money!
A great addition to the PlayStation 4
Sure, the PlayStation Camera is yet to reach its full potential, but the voice and motion controls add a lot to the PlayStation 4’s already rich interface and functionality.
The camera also makes a great addition for players that like to live stream their gaming, giving the opportunity to overlap with commentary and create a more engaging experience for their viewers.
At this point in time it seems Sony stumbled onto something great. And its low price there’s a lot of potential here, especially if you plan to buy PlayStation VR. The virtual reality headset alone is reason enough to want to buy a PlayStation Camera.
[Originally published July 14, 2014]