While Tokyo citizens deal with wild monkeys, PS3 owners in the EU will be able to play with virtual ones. SCEE’s EyePet, due in ‘late 2009’, will use the oft-neglected Playstation Eye Camera to create a pet simulation, in an effort to overtake the casual gaming market. According to Sony:
Working in ‘Augmented Reality’, EyePet is fully aware of people in the
room and will interact with you and your environment. Place an object
in front of the camera that EyePet hasn’t seen before and it’ll know
exactly what to do with it, give it something new and it’ll examine it
thoroughly. Tickle it by waving your fingers in front of the camera: it
laughs, poke it: it jumps, roll it a ball: EyePet chases around the
screen after it.
While that could be interesting for a few hours, we see one potential drawback: creating an open space for our virtual simian. With game rooms becoming cluttered with guitars, drums, and Wii Fit boards, free space is becoming an increasingly rare commodity. Let’s hope our monkey doesn’t languish between a stacks of unopened clearance games, looking as sad as the unsimulated animals at the local zoo.