Coffee Talk #104: Is EyePet the Key to Sony’s Future in Motion?

Sony has been getting mixed reactions on its GDC 2010 press conference for PlayStation Move. Some writers and gamers are greatly intrigued by Move’s fidelity and tremendous creative possibilities. Some are dismissing it as “stupid Wii games…in HD”. Developers will determine the immediate future of PlayStation Move, but there’s one product that could shape Sony’s motion-control future for decades — EyePet.

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Sony has been getting mixed reactions on its GDC 2010 press conference for PlayStation Move. Some writers and gamers are greatly intrigued by Move’s fidelity and tremendous creative possibilities. Some are dismissing it as “stupid Wii games…in HD”. Developers will determine the immediate future of PlayStation Move, but there’s one product that could shape Sony’s motion-control future for decades — EyePet.

EyePet is already a success in Europe and I think it’ll be huge in North America. During yesterday’s Sony presser I tweeted that EyePet could be Sony’s Pokemon. While I doubt it will have the ridiculous success of Pikachu and friends, I do think it has a chance to be a hugely popular fad in its own right. More importantly, with PlayStation Move integration, there’s a chance that million of kids will use PlayStation Move with EyePet and get used to playing games that way.

Gamers like you and me were brought up on gamepads. Sure, there are more buttons these days, analog sticks have been added, and they rumble to match the onscreen action, but the basic concept has been the same for decades. Most gamers are used to playing with a gamepad and are uncomfortable with anything else. With EyePet, a whole generation of gamers will start their gaming lives with PlayStation Move. As they get older, they’ll adapt to future motion-control products. The same way you’re used to a gamepad, they’ll be used to motion devices.

Of course that’s just my theory. Do you agree or disagree with me? Do you think EyePet will help condition young gamers to motion controls? Or do you think it’ll just be an insignificant drop in the bucket?

Author: RPadTV

http://www.RPad.TV

44 thoughts on “Coffee Talk #104: Is EyePet the Key to Sony’s Future in Motion?”

  1. "…a whole generation of gamers will start their gaming lives with PlayStation Move. As they get older, they’ll adapt to future motion-control products. The same way you’re used to a gamepad, they’ll be used to motion devices."

    That's the same thing they said about the Virtual Boy. Just replace "motion controls" with "ugly red virtual reality".

    -M

    -M

  2. I think of it more as a stepping stone to traditional gaming. Some people will move on to serious gaming, motion or traditional, and some will just always view things as child's play and never move on. (I may be biased on that last group)

  3. @Ray

    At the time the virtual boy launched there was a precedent for videogames that didn't hook up to a tv selling well. I get what you are saying, but I can't call the Wii a precedent. I'm willing to be that nearly 25% of it sales are those sold to businesses to help old people or put in waiting rooms because the Wii is synonymous with being healthy for some reason.

  4. WTF is up with Bad Co. 2 servers??? I'd rather them be down than not having all of my earned stuff available.

  5. I like Iceman's thoughts the best, it makes the most sense to me. While I do understand what Ray meant with the precedent being in favor of motion controllers, developers have to come out with enough good games to hook this new generation that will grow up with motion controls being around. Without the good games utilizing motion controls, the virtual boy example works (in my opinion) as a good comparison, precedent or not.

  6. The PS3 is clearly playing catchup to the Wii and 360 here in the US, so it's hard for me to look at any one PS3 game like EyePet and say, "This'll be that hot new thing that introduces kids to gaming," when clearly Wii Sports and anything Mario related is already DOING that. I think that Sony is hoping that this and other motion controlled games are what makes their system catch fire because all a price cut did so far was move them closer to even with MS on a month to month basis. (If I were a betting man I'd say that GoW will give them a pretty big March though.)

  7. Possibly, I think they games are what’s gonna be Sony’s future in motion controlled games. A lot of people think Move is a Wii rip off so they need to first show and prove that it can do much more than the Wii.

  8. @Nightshade386

    Eyepet is just a gimmick with no real game behind it. Pokémon is where it is because it isn't just some game with a bunch of cute creature in it. Now, it could be their version of Nintendogs.

    Which brings me back to the topic, how are motion control games supposed to bring people to the video game industry if they don't have any good games to keep people there? Nintendo has released a couple of good games that should help, but I wonder if they will be enough.

  9. I feel dumb but I am looking forward to trying out EyePet. I have all of the camera games that are already available on the PS3. They are fun to show to people and initially fun to play, good thing they are generally cheap.

    I hope the Move will help me improve my bowling game in High Velocity Bowling.

  10. First let me take the time to thank N8R for putting me on to Rpad.tv, Its not the same on the g4 boards with out you guys, yes even you RROD lol. With that said the only motion controls that I want and love are horizontal! All jokes aside I think that motion controls are really fun for a short amount then I just wanna sit and not have my arms swinging like wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man. I do know that they ( Move and Natal) will be more popular than 3D tvs.

  11. @nightshade

    Precedent is the wrong term. A precedent would be established if MS, Sony sell a significant amount of their entries. Even then you have to consider that the Wii is cheapest in market and Nintendo itself carries with it a family friendly image. Attach rate has to be considered as well. How many Wii's in particular only have Wii Play because of the extra controller? How many only have Wii Sports? Wii Sports Resort? Wii Fit? I am pretty sure most Wii customers don't own all of these.

    How many bought Mad World? Deadly Creatures? Motion controls move past the term trend or successful up until now without any competition when titles made by Nintendo aren't number 1.

  12. @Smartguy: It's unfortunate that so few decent 3rd party hardcore Wii titles have been made. But I've gotta say that both Madworld and Deadly Creatures seemed to have a much broader appeal with the gaming press than with my circle of friends, and the issue was never that they were on the Wii….it was that the games just weren't appealing conceptually to any of my friends who do own a Wii.

  13. @Ray

    neither you nor I can discern that actual number. We can argue only. I do know almost every gym in my area has a few Wiis for their senior classes.

    @Nightshade

    the quality wasn't the issue (though I found both disappointing) but the type and the perception of how the machine is treated by its owners.

  14. @Nightshade386 I'm not missing your point at all. I just hate your stance. You go ahead and buy what you like. I buy games that I like too, but I also make a point to support developers that I like and smaller developers that are just starting out.

  15. @Nightshade386 My relationships actually have very little to do with it, though it does happen in some cases. I've always bought BioWare's games, even before I got to know Dr. Ray and Dr. Greg. I know Cliffy B really well and there was a point where we were really good friends, but I was content to take my comp copies of Gears of War (yes, part of it was the fun in telling him that I didn't buy his games). I don't know anyone at Cing, but I bought Hotel Dusk and Little King's Story because I liked what the developer did for the Wii.

  16. @Ray

    Maybe you shouldn't simplify my statement as simply school gyms. There are nursing homes, PT centers, ppl in general. The types and amounts of software bought on the machine can lead anyone to a fairly logical estimate that if you market your machine or it is considered some diet fad (atkins, south beach, etc) then it will sell.

    At the bank I used to work at only one person bought the Wii for their kid and solely because they were sure there would be no "filth" on that machine. The rest bought it to use as something to get a "work out" or to show off at a party. My gf's grandparents who are about as country as country can get bought one just to use Wii sports so they aren't as sedentary. In all, I could name at the minimum of 10 instances where I know someone who bought a Wii based solely on health reasons.

    The motion controls aren't a precedent yet…not unless Sony and MS see success with non health titles. Otherwise motion controls will be seen as fad diets that are chic. Approximately 32 million units have been shipped to the US, if all are sold then that .25 number is 8 million which isn't far fetched at all. Especially when you consider how many copies of wii fit and wii play have sold compared to what many would consider above average titles on the unit.

  17. I agree with Nightshade…my income and time aren't so disposable that I can buy something from someone who is a fledgling in the business or tried very hard. I buy the product that is good for me. If they want my money, then make a good product or enter the market at a lower price.

  18. @Ray

    I get frustrated typing a long post on my iphone and sometimes don't articulate myself well. My apologies.

  19. @Ray

    Awesome. I go home for lunch since i live so close to work and was able to use my computer lol.

  20. @Nightshade386 & R-Pad

    I don't think either of you is wrong for your stances because ultimately your goals will overlap ~90% of the time. The problem is most gamers don't keep track of the industry like we do and marketing plays way to big of a role these days. A bad game can sell millions because it was marketed well and a good game can go under because it had little to no marketing. As for the Wii, not many games are marketed well on that consol, both to the core audience and the casual majority.

  21. I don't think Ray's wrong either, I just think that you can't expect the average gamer to buy something unless there's something about it that appeals to them. Using Ray's old argument about Madworld as the example, I equate it to going into an FYE (if you can still find one) and picking out only CD's that have a Parental Advisory label on them, regardless of whether or not you like that genre of music, because you want to support freedom of speech. Most consumers are just not going to do that.

  22. @ Big 13lak

    RROD is not the same character he portrayed on G4. I always knew he was crazy smart with alot of insight, but here it's blatantly obvious.

    He's definitely one of our day 1 superstars. (I can't wait for football season).

  23. @ N8R

    Oh em gee man, all this time I thought he was some fanboy fool but I guess we all have to wear masks when the occasion fits lol.

  24. In fact, I remember arguing with R-Pad about Madworld back on that other site when it came out to high reviews. I remember him saying something to the effect that if you want game companies to support hardcore games for the Wii people should go buy Madworld. I remember disagreeing with that philosophy because no one should buy a game that they don’t have any interest in conceptually.

  25. @Smartguy Yes, Game Boy was the precedent. Virtual Boy was another type of product entirely. Also, you want to bet on your 25% estimate? I’d love to.

    @Nightshade386 You’re missing the point. It’s about Sony trying to set up their future customers.

    @Sandrock323 Ultimately, you’re right. A lot of it is up to game developers. Several of the ones I spoke with at the show are excited by what Move has to offer. The tech is really impressive and there’s great potential there. Hopefully developers exploit the tech in a fun way.

    @Big 13lak Great to have you here! Thanks for hanging out and I hope to see more of you.

    @Nightshade386 That’s unfortunate that you and several people feel that way. If more people supported enthusiast games on the Wii, companies like Cing would still be in business.

  26. @Ray: Ultimately it’s a business and if companies aren’t making products that appeal to their core demographic then it’s gonna be hard for them to stick around. It’s unfortunate, but that’s how it is in every business. And in this case, I think it’s you who’s missing the point. Again, I don’t think the issue is that they are hardcore on the Wii, it’s that they were not conceptually appealing to the hardcore gamers who owned Wii’s. There’s a difference. And just because something is aimed at a certain audience does not obligate them to buy it if it doesn’t appeal to them. And when you look at the number of Metroid, Zelda and Mario games that have sold for the Wii, it’s pretty clear there are enough enthusiast gamers who own Wii’s out there to support a product that appeals to them.

  27. @Ray: Since you’re on a first name basis with some of these developers it’s only natural for you to see things a different way. You know these guys personally. If I had a friend on the development side, I’d buy his games out of loyalty too. Buy I don’t.

    I for one will support companies with a track record of making games that appeals to me (ie: Bioware, Bethesda, Epic, Valve). But the average gamer can probably still be considered an enthusiast and not still not be as plugged into the gaming industry as the average person on this site. And that’s why it’s not the consumer’s job to support these companies for the sake of supporting them, it’s the companies role to offer the consumer something it wants to buy. To expect otherwise is really asking too much.

  28. @Ray: Taking the analogy further, the problem with that idea is that I’d end up with a whole lotta Jay-Z, and I hate rap music. In the end, if my first instinct on a game is correct I’d have just wasted $50 on a game I wouldn’t like. This is why I rent a lot of stuff and go back and buy it if I like it.

  29. Great link man that video hit it on the money! So I take it that this OTHER site must be the equivalent to saying Voldemort (ah shit I said it, damn) in the Potter universe.

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