From EyeToy to NGP: PlayStation’s Augmented Reality Legacy

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Augmented reality is a concept that’s starting to get a lot of buzz so we wanted to take a minute to break down our history with the technology and provide a sneak peak at what could be next. There’s a popular misconception that augmented reality is just “kid’s stuff,” but with more than eight years of experience under our belt, we’ve found there’s a wide variety of compelling and cool AR experiences that everyone can enjoy. We spoke to some of our resident experts from Sony Computer Entertainment R&D and Product Development to get their take on augmented reality through our platforms.

Back in 2003, when smartphones, tablet PCs, and even decent webcams were far from mainstream, we launched EyeToy on PlayStation 2, which included our first foray into augmented reality. Back then it was the only way to see yourself on-screen interacting with virtual objects in real-time. We then brought that unique experience to a portable level on PSP. With games such as Invizimals or EyePet , mobility was a key element as the PSP camera turned the entire world around you into a game.

PlayStation 3 gave us a significant leap in image processing and, coupled with PlayStation Eye, enabled AR games such as The Eye of Judgment. Last year’s launch of PlayStation Move on PS3 brought titles like EyePet and Start the Party, which added ultra-precise movement recognition to the augmented reality experience, enabling you to interact with virtual objects on-screen using the PS Move motion controller.

We’re no stranger to innovation and every so often we’re able to create an experience that changes the way you think about games. At this year’s Game Developers Conference , we showed off demos of augmented reality on NGP—our Next Generation Portable device . NGP builds on our experience with augmented reality over the years with PlayStation 2/EyeToy, PSP, and PS3/PlayStation Move. With front and rear cameras that combine real-time images of you and your environment, a brilliant 5-inch multi-touch OLED screen and rear multi-touch pad, internal motion sensors, and dual analog sticks, NGP offers new ways to interact that will change the way you think about augmented reality games… and possibly even change the way you think about reality.

What do you think about augmented reality? Do you have an idea for the next killer app for augmented reality? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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  • Well I’m not a huge fan of augmented reality (a lot of the time I just want to play a game without having to fuss about with cameras and lighting and living room space) but I certainly enjoyed Eyepet and Start the Party.

    And man, the NGP just looks so slick… Can’t wait to buy one.

  • Haven’t played with the cards in quite a while, but I’ve been waiting for a yu-gi-oh AR game since I first played eye of judgement. Would work so amazingly well!

  • NGP.. cant wait :)

  • Augmented reality is a novelty. Nothing more, please don’t invest too much time and money into bringing these novelties to NGP, just bring good games.

  • Get a deal with a company that makes TCG, Yugioh and Magic games being the best choices and give them the Eye of Judgement treatment.

    Painting wall game/app, join with others to create and design, make it with 3D aupport and instead of a wall an entire simulated room or house if you want to go all out.

    Lego type building game with integrated battle and action modes where you can animate your constructions.

    RTS game, sync several NGPs pointed at a board which would be the map.
    Moving your ngps and their cameras moves the ingame camera, also the option to use hands to mark units and buildings.
    Online options and a PS3 version without local multplayer but an online would be great too.

    Also, make a Move glove (glove with glowing points, can be just on fingertips and palm) for precise movement tracking for some games.

    If you like these a “thank you for the ideas” would be nice.
    A free PSN game would also be nice.

    The last paragraph was a joke, naturally.

  • i’m almost 100% sure that when NGP releases everyone will say sony stole the AR thing from nintendo.

    CaN’t wait to see some rpg games in thjis style which i hope will come.

  • I absolutely love Eye of Judgment, but I feel it got a short shelf life and a lack of support. I had serious issues getting new cards and by the time I had a good selection of series three cards, the servers shut down.

    I like recieving physical objects to go with my games, like playing cards (Fallout: NV collectors, Dead rising 2) and other little trinkets. It’d be nice to get some that I can use to play my games, and not just leave on a shelf to look pretty and gather dust.

  • I have a question:
    How are you going to name the NGP when it gets outdated? OGP?

  • lol @9

    Ngp needs alot of things too cut it.Some entertaining games would be a novelty these days,with some good story lines that last a while.Also self adjusting lights so that the camera’s work perfect unlike the eyes problems.
    Also I do hope that this going to run on quadcore like promised.
    I really need some quality from ngp before purchase and I’m very interested in ngp

  • You guys should definitely be proud of yourselves, you’ve been doing a lot of cool stuff. Couldn’t be prouder to own a PS3 :)

  • Although not exactly Augmented Reality, Lunar Knights and the zombie GPS game avauilable on Android were two thing that were quite fun and were attempts to encourage gamers outside. I believe the NGP has the ability to take this a step further by not only showing the locations of zombies or enemies but have the ability to interact with them on screen! I love a game or app like that.

  • the ability to play with people playing splitscreen on a ps3- on cod for example, this could make 5 players and so on, it would be awesome!

  • I’m bitterly disappointed that there were ZERO ‘eye toy play’ type games released for the PS Eye when there’s such a HUGE improvement from the eye toy. SO much potential just WASTED! Xbox Kinect does the exact same thing as the Eye Toy, but everyone got hyped for Kinetic and not PS Eye because Sony didn’t do [DELETED] for it, we didn’t get anything except Eye of Judgement, and that’s all we had for the last few years.. THAT’s why Xbox jumped on with Kinect because Sony just left the Eye Toy and PS Eye sitting there with no games, Microsoft took notice and took over the market with Kinect.

    The PS Eye can do so much more than the Eye Toy, yet it’s almost useless without the Move.
    WHY isn’t the PS Eye’s capabilities being used to it’s full potential? Kung Fu Live is the ONLY new PS Eye game in YEARS!
    Seriously why bother creating the PS Eye to simply leave it sitting there gathering dust all the years? I saw the PS Eye promo videos pre-PS3 release, yet none of that was used.

  • OK great, now how about some actual SOFTWARE?
    I’m *this* close to selling my MOVE controllers. That’s not a thread or anything, simply a call for more software!

    Some unique game using MOVE and Ey3 would be appreciated. Instead of games that already existed having MOVE controls added in.

  • Not only MOVE but AG games as well would be cool using Ey3.

    Like that demo we had ages ago at E3. ‘Eyedentify’ or something it was called, that looked great, where are those types of games.

  • Yeah, the 3DS is really built around a gimmick and can’t sell without it.. *glares at the NGP, then at Sony fanboys, then trollfaces*

    Video gamings whole idea of Augmented Reality is turd anyway. Not unless you can make it so that it FEELS like you’re in the game ie; A device where, if you get hit by an explosion, you feel the vibration and the heat. Dancing around in front of a camera to plinky-plonky music isn’t my idea of Augmented Reality, neither is waving a stupid controller (In terms of the Wii. In terms of PS3, it’s a stupid controller with a stupid dongle on the end) just to fire an arrow or smack someone or something stupid like that.

    Now, if the NGP can do something instead of forcing your face into a game so you have to wiggle your ears or eyebrow just to fire a bow and arrow or make some stupid pixellated avatar dance, then I might just think it’s something more than an orgy of marketing gimmicks packed into a slick case.

  • Next step to me getting Virtual Reality :P

  • only just got a move eye etc as i upgraded to 320 and kinda had it thrown in [in box] what i would like to know [don’t laugh] is how far away is gaming from using those wrap around glasses like i see in sci fi stuff … that would be cool any idea … btw i can remember captain kirk tellin scottie to beam me up using a little comunicater now we’ve all got them so am i going to see same with the glasses idea .. any thoughts/comments and facts would be most welcome thanks.

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