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You’re fortunate enough to have a PlayStation 4 Sony PlayStation 4 Review And Giveaway Sony PlayStation 4 Review And Giveaway Ladies and gentlemen, the next generation of video game consoles is here, with the Sony PlayStation 4! Read More sitting under your TV, having chosen the Sony console over Microsoft’s Xbox One and Nintendo’s Wii U. Now, you want to know which accessories to buy for it. We’ve already offered up five suggestions 5 Accessories New PlayStation 4 Owners Should Pick Up 5 Accessories New PlayStation 4 Owners Should Pick Up Fear not next-gen console owner, because there are some pretty solid accessories available for console right now, and some of definitely worth owning. We will save you the effort of looking around. This list of... Read More , but the PlayStation Camera deserves some special attention. So, is it worth buying? Now, later, ever?

The Basics

The PlayStation Camera for PS4 comprises a small black unit that should fit nicely into most people’s set-ups. It can be placed either on a TV stand or on the TV itself using the PlayStation Clip (available separately). It’s a very capable camera, with a resolution of 1280 pixels by 800 pixels and a max frame rate of 240 fps.

It can be used in a number of different ways: As a traditional camera for filming you in your living room, as a Kinect-style Kinect Hacks Revisited: 7 More Inventive Uses [Stuff to Watch] Kinect Hacks Revisited: 7 More Inventive Uses [Stuff to Watch] Last month I was at Blip Fest in Melbourne, watching a bunch of musically talented geeks using their Game Boys and ZX Spectrums to make pounding yet tuneful electro beats. A projector accompanied the music,... Read More device for motion-controlled games (used in conjunction with the light bar on the rear of the controller), as a means of controlling your PS4 with voice controls, and as a secure way of locally logging into the system using facial recognition.

But what else is made possible by owning a PlayStation Camera for PS4?

The Playroom

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The Playroom is a free application preinstalled on to all PS4 consoles. It contains a collection of mini-games designed to both show off the capabilities of the PlayStation Camera and offer some simple fun.

There’s a flying robot called Asobi, a collection of little critters called the AR Bots, and a motion-controlled Pong clone How To Recreate The Classic Pong Game Using Arduino How To Recreate The Classic Pong Game Using Arduino Pong was the first ever videogame that reached the mass market. For the first time in history, the concept of a "video game" was brought into the family home, thanks to the Atari 2600 -... Read More . All of which offer occasional entertainment.

Developers are also able to release new games for The Playroom as DLC, and Double Fine Productions have done just that with My Alien Buddy.

Compatible Games

At the time of writing there is just one game available for the PS4 that’s compatible with the PlayStation Camera. And, as it’s Just Dance 2014, it’s not a great advertisement for the product. Because Just Dance 2014 isn’t very good.

Just Dance 2014 is also available on a number of other platforms, being nothing but a port from the previous generation of consoles. PS4 owners with a PlayStation Move controller don’t even need the camera as they can just use the last-gen technology.

This is disappointing, and Sony really should have pushed for more compatible games to be available at launch.

Twitch & Ustream

The PS4 makes it very easy to stream video of yourself sitting in front of your TV using Ustream and/or to stream footage of yourself playing games using Twitch. You can also watch other people on Ustream and Twitch using the ‘Live from PlayStation’ application.

You need a PlayStation Camera in order to film yourself for Ustream. You don’t need a PlayStation camera in order to offer a Twitch feed, but it certainly helps, as having yourself commentating into camera while playing a game for the enjoyment of other people is a guaranteed way of gaining more viewers 5 Tips For Building An Audience For Your Live Streaming Channel 5 Tips For Building An Audience For Your Live Streaming Channel Streaming content to a live audience for the first time can be nerve wracking. Find out how to draw loyal, regular viewers with best practices I learned in my first year on Twitch. Read More .

Future Potential

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Right now, the PlayStation Camera is a mild distraction that will, for the most part, likely sit gathering dust. Those with children — kids seem to love The Playroom more than life itself — will see it used more regularly. As will those who stream games on Twitch, a job it manages fantastically well.

However, what you’re really buying when you buy the PlayStation Camera for PS4 is potential. As things are sure to improve. More voice controls will be added, gesture controls will (hopefully) be added, new DLC will be released for The Playroom, and then there are the games.

PS4 Games 5 PS4 Exclusive Titles To Make Xbox One Owners Jealous 5 PS4 Exclusive Titles To Make Xbox One Owners Jealous Having already proposed five reasons you should be buying a PlayStation 4, it's time to focus in on the games that will be released for the system within its first year on sale. What follows... Read More that utilize the PlayStation Camera will arrive in time, and when they do you’ll be ahead of the curve. It’s also worth bearing in mind that the more people who buy the PlayStation Camera, the more developers will be interested in creating games that make use of it.

Conclusions

If you’ve read to this point then you should have already drawn your own conclusions and decided whether the PlayStation Camera for PS4 is a worthy purchase for you personally. In which case we have done our job. If, however, you have scrolled straight to the bottom of the article hoping we’d tell you what to do…

Assuming you can afford the PlayStation Camera then we recommend you buy one. For the price of a single game you’re getting voice controls and facial recognition, the chance to show off to your friends and family using The Playroom, the opportunity to stream via Twitch and/or Ustream, and a great deal of future potential.

Image Credit: Miles Goodhew via Flickr

  1. ken
    April 27, 2015 at 1:04 am

    The main potential i see, is the Morpheus. The one real reason im getting the camera is because it is needed for tracking your heads position while using project morpheus.

  2. Ben S
    March 12, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    For some reason the camera isn't something I find worth getting. I want to get all the cool stuff for my PS4 that I can, but I feel that the camera would be too limited in use. Had it come packaged in with the console, I may have played around with it, but likely not used it a whole lot.
    Hopefully, new games will find creative ways to use the camera and make it worthwhile. But for now, personally, I'd rather wait or get another controller for the money.
    I like what you said about it having potential. That's really how I feel about the PS4 overall right now.

  3. Jason P
    March 11, 2014 at 11:44 am

    On the other hand if you like the idea of console motion tracking for games and navigation but don't have a console yet I think the new Xbox One have way better integration with the Kinect.

    • Dave P
      March 11, 2014 at 7:39 pm

      You may be right, but this article is intended for PS4 owners, not Xbox One owners :)

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