Sony: We Do Not Bundle Motion Sensor with PlayStation 4 Because Gamers Do Not Want That

Sony Explains Why PlayStation 4 Lacks PlayStation Camera Inside the Box

by Anton Shilov
10/09/2013 | 11:50 PM

While in general gamers and analysts seem to like the PlayStation 4 game console, the system has faced some criticism as it comes without PlayStation Camera motion-sensing controller inside the box. By contrast, Microsoft includes second-gen Kinect sensor into the Xbox One bundle. Apparently, Sony does not see the lack of camera as a disadvantage since core gamers may not necessarily need it.

 

"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 and there is not necessarily a huge emphasis being placed on camera interaction," said Andy House, chief executive officer of Sony Computer Entertainment, in an interview with BusinessSpectator.

Sony PlayStation Camera features two cameras with 1280*800 resolution; the lenses of each cam operate with an aperture of f/2.0, with 30 cm focusing distance, and an 85° field of view. The dual camera setup can be used together for depth-sensing of objects in its field of vision.  Otherwise, one of the cams can be used for generating the video image, while the other used for motion tracking. PS Camera sports a four-channel microphone array, which helps reduce unwanted background noise and may be used to issue commands. The camera connects to PS4 using a special port. The PlayStation Camera will be released as a separate, add-on accessory priced at $59/€49/£44.

According to unofficial information, Sony did want to bundle the camera initially, but in the months prior to the E3 announcement the company decided to exclude the camera and drop the launch price to $399. While Sony will be able to potentially sell more game consoles initially, eventually it will face a problem of fragmentation. By far not all PlayStation 4 systems will feature the camera, which is why game developers will likely be reluctant to design games that rely on the device.

Essentially, Sony dropped a function of the PS4 in order to reduce its launch price. By contrast, every single Microsoft Xbox One will come with Kinect 2 motion sensor, which means that every developer can take advantage of motion-sensing device.

Digital Illusions Creative Entertainment, a wholly owned subsidiary of Electronic Arts, announced earlier this year that it would take advantage of second-generation Kinect sensor in the version of Battlefield 4 for Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox One. The sensor will not be used for controlling characters in the game, but for other purposes.

The actual way how DICE plans to utilize Microsoft’s second-generation motion sensor is not clear. However, the developer promises that the implementation will bring actual advantages to gamers, which indicates that the feature will not be a tick-box implementation. In fact, no matter how significant will the usage of Kinect 2 be, it will still be an exclusive Xbox One feature not available on PCs, PlayStation 4 and other consoles.

Sony PlayStation 4 is based on a semi-custom AMD Fusion system-on-chip that integrates eight AMD x86 Jaguar cores, custom AMD Radeon HD core with unified array of 18 AMD GCN-like compute units (1152 stream processors which collectively generate 1.84TFLOPS of computer power that can freely be applied to graphics, simulation tasks, or some mixture of the two), various special-purpose hardware blocks as well as multi-channel GDDR5 memory controller. The PS4 will come with 8GB of unified GDDR5 memory sub-system (with 176GB/s bandwidth) for both CPU and GPU as well as large-capacity hard disk drive. 

Sony PS4 will be equipped with Blu-ray disc drive capable of reading BDs at 6x and DVDs at 8x speeds, USB 3.0 connectivity in addition to a proprietary aux port, Gigabit Ethernet port, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 EDR wireless technology as well as HDMI, optical and analog outputs. The new system will also utilize new DualShock 4 game controller with integrated touchpad as well as better motion sensing thanks to new PS4 tracking cameras (sold separately for $59).

The PlayStation4 (CUH-1000A series) computer entertainment system will launch on November 15, 2013 in the Canada and U.S., and from November 29, 2013 in Europe (PAL region) including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The PS4 will also launch in ten Latin American countries on November 29: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama and Peru.

When the PlayStation 4 will become available this year, it will be sold at a recommended retail price (RRP) of $399, CAD$399, €399, and £349.