Early reports after Sony’s February PlayStation 4 event stated that the new Eye camera would be bundled with the system, making it a standard part of the next-gen console’s hardware. While these reports dovetailed with pre-announcement PS4 rumors, a new discovery in Sony’s DualShock 4 video seems to indicate that the camera is not bundled with the console but is actually “sold separately.”
As spotted by NeoGAF user Tiemen, the official DualShock 4 developer video (embedded at the bottom of this post) contains the following legal disclaimer at the 2:30 mark:
“DualShock 4 features may not be supported by all software titles. PlayStation 4 camera may be required and is sold separately.”
Assuming the DualShock 4 legal disclaimer represents Sony’s launch plans for their next generation console, it would make the PlayStation 4 Eye camera a completely optional accessory for consumers.
In contrast, Microsoft has already confirmed that the Xbox One will not only be bundled with the new version of Kinect, but the console will also require users to plug in the fancy camera — which, incidentally, gives it the scary ability to enable some fun new types of DRM.
While the PlayStation 4 Eye camera’s optional status has not yet been confirmed by Sony, the move would be great news for consumers. Traditionally, the vast majority of console owners have always chosen not to support camera accessories (even the original Kinect, which Microsoft considers to be a huge success, has a relatively low attach rate of about 32%). By keeping the PS4’s camera out of the next-gen console’s box, the majority of consumers will be able to avoid buying a device they don’t want and get the benefit of a cheaper launch price for the new console.
We have contacted Sony for clarification on how the PlayStation 4 Eye camera will be sold when the console launches later this year, and will update this post as soon as any official information is announced.