The first EyeToy’s development started in 2000 when Richard Marks had the idea to introduce a natural user interface, and mixed reality into the video game industry through the means of a webcam. Therefore he joined Sony that year, and started development on what would become the EyeToy.
The EyeToy functionality wasn’t able to be implemented into any existing games, so Marks opted on joining SCE London Studio, of Sony, to develop a game that would work with the Eyetoy. That is where EyeToy:Play was born! EyeToy:Play featured 12 mini games, where you could manipulate the game and things on the screen by moving your body. This was possible by the software recognising changes in the pixels of the video image, and approximating the size of the change against other in-game objects. This was revolutionary for it’s time.
While the EyeToy was impressive, it had its flaws: the graphics were sub-par, since it relied on the webcams vision, it had to be played in well lit room, and lastly, while it was motion technology, it didn’t track motion in a 3D space. It left a lot to be desired.
However, this was to be blown out of the water by the Nintendo Wii! http://thegameraccess.com/images/wii.jpg – This is an image of the Wii.
The Nintendo Wii was the first console to be entirely dependent on motion technology. While all the games released on the Wii can be played by just pressing buttons, the controllers weren’t best suited for that sort of gameplay. Nintendo, when releasing the Wii, wanted to promote a more interactive style of gameplay, where the player has to get more involved and move physically.
The Wii was a commercial success, and as of now has sold over 75 million systems.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qcDjwRynyU – This is a video demonstrating how the Wii plays.
The success of the Wii caused Microsoft and Sony to take action. Both companies started to develop add-ons for their consoles that would emulate the motion technology that the Wii has, they weren’t however just going to try and copy the Wii, they wanted to take what they had and build on it.
This led to Sony developing the Playstation Move. The Playstation Move is a controller for the PS3, similar to the Wiimote of the Nintendo Wii. This expands on the original EyeToy, as it still uses a camera to track movment(known as the Playstation Eye), however, it doesn’t track pixel movement like the EyeToy, it uses Bluetooth 2.0 wireless radio to communicate it’s position to the console. The Playstation Move sold relatively well, combining both Europe and North America for 2.5 million sales in the first month.
Microsoft have however gone one step further, and attempted to create a controller free experience. Kinect has a natural user interface, similar to the EyeToy, and also has voice recognition, and can recognise presented objects and images.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTzmmXKFdcg – This is a video demonstrating the no controller experience of Xbox Kinect.