At that fancy conference where the PS4 was revealed we learned something shocking about the new system. It was a huge deal. It could even be considered a kind of capitulation on behalf of Sony. It was so strange. And nobody talked about it.
It's that Sony's new console will come with its own sort-of-built-in version of Kinect in the form of a specialized camera called the PS4 Eye. It's inside a black bar that we will have to put somewhere so it can see us and our controllers and hear us holler at it.
Sure we learned the tech specs (a resolution of 1280×800 running at 60Hz) and a few of the things it can do (facial recognition login, controller recognition, motion controls) but I have yet to find out how much of a role this thing is going to play for the PS4's games. Some people were leery of the share button but at least that is optional to use.
This generation the PS Eye and Microsoft's Kinect were optional peripherals. The PS4 Eye was revealed alongside the PS4 as part of the console. My horrendous experience with the sensor bar of the Wii has me a little worried about all of this. Are we going to have to find a place for this thing like the Wii's sensor bar no matter how poorly it lines up with our eye level? I don't plan to use it so can I just unplug it and put it in a drawer and pretend it never existed? If not, how does it stand up to cats and kids?
Hopefully if the cheaper of the rumored two launch models of the PS4 doesn't have the camera then we will have our answer. It's just that there's a temptation for hardware companies to get carried away with these widgets.