COLUMN: Aaron’s Backstage Pass: PlayStation Camera PS4 Review

Created: 03/24/2014 3:36 PM By: Aaron Chalich

Photo courtesy of Sony Computer Entertainment
Photo courtesy of Sony Computer Entertainment

Last November, Sony Computer Entertainment’s PlayStation 4 was released, and one of the accessories that you could buy separately was the “PlayStation 4 Camera.”

This past week I received a “PlayStation 4 Camera” to review from Sony Computer Entertainment, and I can see why it is so popular.  The camera is absolutely amazing.

The “PlayStation 4 Camera” is extremely easy to set up.  It plugs into the back of the PlayStation 4 and it takes a few minutes to download the software.

The “PlayStation 4 Camera” comes with a very nice stand that you can place the camera on.  The stand can be placed on top of a television or on a flat surface below the television.  The stand has two bendable joints so you can position the camera a few different ways.  You may need to play around with it, to get it in a position that will work best for you.

The camera is 7.32 x 1.06 x 1.06 inches.  There are two separate lenses; one lens senses your motion and the other generates the video image.  There is also a four channel microphone built into the camera so you can use voice commands and you can also capture audio if you want to share your videos through Ustream or Twitch (you have to set up an account with each).

The video quality of the “PlayStation 4 Camera” is great. The picture is sharp and very clear.

There are many fun and neat things that you can do with the “PlayStation 4 Camera.”

One thing that I really thought was great was that you can video chat with friends and other people on the PlayStation 4 who also have the camera. 

You can also record yourself playing games and talking about them.  You can record yourself playing “Infamous Second Son.”  The game will be displayed on the screen, and in the upper-right-hand corner an image of you will also be displayed.  You can then share the videos on either Ustream or Twitch.

The “PlayStation 4 Camera” can also live stream video on Ustream or Twitch.

On the PlayStation 4 menu there is an icon called “The Playroom.”  You can go and play a bunch of different games that are designed just for the “PlayStation 4 Camera.” 

The first time you access The Playroom, you will have to go through a series of steps to make sure your camera is set up correctly.  They are very easy to follow and are explained very well. 

Once your camera is set up, you shouldn’t have to go through it again.  Then next time you access The Playroom, you are asked if you want to go through the steps again to make sure your camera is set up correctly or if you want to skip it and go to the games.

There are three different games that are available right away that you can play.  There is a game called “Play with ASOBI,” where you can interact with a little robot called “ASOBI.”  You use the touch pad to bring ASOBI out of the controller, and then he appears on the screen.  As soon as he appears, he will scan your face, so he can see that there is someone there.  The video that the camera is capturing appears on the screen and you can have more than one person standing in front of the camera.  Everyone can interact with ASOBI and that’s pretty cool.  You can tickle him and hit him.  However, if you hit him enough, he will get mad and will either freeze your head or set your hair on fire.  It’s really neat.

Another game that you can play is called “AR Bots.”  Here you can interact with tons of little robots.  They are in the controller, and you have to release them by swiping the touch pad.  Once they are out, you can bring them back into the controller by holding down the touch pad.  One nice thing is that there is a menu that will appear on the screen that will show you what you need to do to play with the AR Bots.  You can hit them and kick them against the screen.

It’s really fun to experiment with the many different ways you can interact with the AR Bots and ASOBI.    

The third game that you can play is “Air Hockey.”  You need two controllers.  Each person uses the touch pad, and can you hit a ball back and forth trying to get it past the other person. This is such a fun game to play with friends or with your family.

There are also three other games that are available on the PlayStation Network (PSN) that you can download for free (You will need internet access to do this).

There is a game called “My Alien Buddy.”  This is an awesome game.  You control an alien, and you fly around the screen destroying barns, buildings and other objects.  You can also pick up cows, dinosaurs, cars and astronauts that will take you to a themed level.  For example, if you pick up a dinosaur, you will be taken to a prehistoric-looking level with other dinosaurs and volcanos.  If you pick up a cow, you will be taken to a farm setting where you can destroy barns.  The graphics look great and are amazing.

Another game that you can download from the PSN is a game called “Ninja Bots.”  This is a really fun and exciting game where you control an AR Bot that looks like a ninja.  You run down a course trying to collect as many coins as you can.  You can also throw ninja stars by swiping the touch pad.  There are other ninjas that will try to get in your way, and they can easily be taken out with your ninja stars. You can play against another player, and that is really fun to do.

The last game that is available is called “Toy Maker.”  You need a smart phone to play this, and I don’t have one, so I didn’t get the opportunity to play it. 

The thing that really impressed me the most about the “PlayStation 4 Camera” is how well it picked up my movements.  It was dead on and extremely accurate.  I played for many hours by myself and with my two daughters, and it tracked all of our movements perfectly.

I really think that that Sony Computer Entertainments “PlayStation 4 Camera” is a must have for anyone who owns a PlayStation 4.  There are so many fun and exciting things you can do with it such as play interactive games, video chat, live stream video, etc...  The camera is very easy to set up, and it tracks your movements perfectly.   I cannot wait to see what games come out next for the “PlayStation 4 Camera,” because the games that are available now are great. 

I would highly recommend that you check out the “PlayStation 4 Camera.” It is the perfect thing to play with friends and with the whole family.

Aaron Chalich is a entertainment columnist.