One of the most interesting features of the PlayStation 4 and its DualShock 4 controller is its touchpad in addition to its Sixaxis motion-based gameplay. In conjunction with the new PlayStation Eye, potential for solid motion-based gameplay is quite high. At the GameStop Expo in Las Vegas last week, we got to try out The Playroom to test out some of these augmented reality (AR)-based features.
The Playroom serves mainly as a demonstration tool for AR-based gameplay, much like the Face Raiders game on the Nintendo DS or the packed-in PS Vita tutorial. The demo we tried out showed some of the PlayStation 4’s more interesting features. Upon sitting down in front of the TV and seeing ourselves on the screen, a press of the touchpad (yes, it’s also a button) showed us some “Wall-E”-esque robots hiding “inside” the controller.
By constantly swiping the touchpad (similar to the way you threw ninja stars in NintendoLand), the robots fell out, walking around our environment as indicated on the touch screen. With this, we can do such things as move a bunch of them around using our arms, and with the tap of a button we can turn our DualShock 4 into a hose and drench all the robots with water.
While none of those water effects looked all that realistic, it was just something fun to do.
In addition to the PS4’s AR Robots, we also played a game of pong using two DualShock 4 controllers. Controlling the stick that hits the pong ball is done by sliding your finger or thumb up and down on the touchpad, but what really makes this game unique is the fact that you can manipulate the field of play by moving the DualShock 4 around.
So if you’re playing on the right side of a friend, and you swing your controller towards the right, you’re also stretching the field of play so that the ball will take longer to reach your edge. You can move the controller up, down, diagonally, and twist the field to your liking. This is actually kind of crazy, and I lost to the guy demonstrating the feature 0-7.
At the end of the game, we vacuumed all the robots up and shook them out of our controllers again. It was good fun.
The Playroom comes as a pack-in with the PlayStation 4 which launches on November 15. But in order to play the game, you need the new PlayStation Eye camera, which is sold separately for $59.99.