Though it is considered one of the most overlooked peripherals in the PS4 arsenal, the PlayStation Camera should be considered a must-have peripheral if you own a PS4. Though the unit itself is still trying to find footing in every PS4 players entertainment station, it can do quite a lot out of the box and does so with flying colors and high quality. Lets take a look at the two primary functions of the camera, live streaming and game enhancement.
One principal benefit of the PlayStation Camera is the ability to enhance the PS4 Share experience. Though many PS4 gamers have begun to make extensive use of the live streaming feature built into the Share system, it is often a rare sight to see them using the PS4 camera as well. Just about all “professional” game streamers can attest to the publicity boost a channel can get if viewers are able to see who is playing the game, as well as interact with them. This allows viewers to “connect” with the streamer, gain followers and eventually amass a guaranteed audience each time they choose to broadcast their game play.
Given that the PS Camera also doubles as a wide-reaching microphone, it is the ideal solution for rounding out the PlayStation Share experience. With the built-in ease of broadcasting directly from the PS4 combined with the dual function camera, players have a fully stacked streaming solution right out of the box without the need to buy an additional microphone, software license (such as XSplit on the PC) or PVR.
Though there are not yet many titles that utilize the PS Camera, the handful that have been already released on the system already offer both small and large ways to make use of the camera in game. Sports titles such as NBA 2K16, NBA Live 16 and FIFA 16 allow players to import a picture of their face into the game, allowing the player to create an exact likeness of themselves when creating a new player for a customized team. Though this feature was readily available in the previous generation of consoles, the level of detail seen in the PS4 games that utilize this is visually stunning, as if they developers re-created player models from scratch in the studio.
Sony’s PS Camera “test-bed”, known as The Playroom, gives players an idea of how the PS Camera affects game play. Using the camera, you can play with robots (as well as manipulate the small world they are contained in), play air hockey, take care of a virtual robotic pet, as well as many other activities available via DLC. It may not be as robust as a commercially-released title, but The Playroom does give players a nice, entertaining platform to get some additional fun out of their camera.