These days, game systems don’t usually come with games packed in. The Playroom is one game that is an exception, but at the same time, it isn’t.
What Is It?
Every PlayStation 4 comes packed with a game application called The Playroom. The Playroom is essentially an augmented reality (AR) application that showcases the capabilities of the DualShock 4 and PlayStation Eye.
For the record, the application can’t be used without the PlayStation Eye camera accessory, which is another $59. So while the game is free with your purchase of a PlayStation 4, it’s essentially still $60.
Why Should I Care?
As stated, The Playroom showcases what the DualShock 4 and PlayStation 4 itself are capable of.
When first booting the game up, you’re greeted with live footage of yourself, wherever you’re at. Unlike the new Kinect on the Xbox One, the PlayStation Eye is actually pretty insistent on the player being in a well-lit room while relying on the light of your DualShock 4 to tell where you are.
The game “calibrates” your DualShock 4 controller where you’re then treated to a rather cool laser show featuring you holding your controller. From there, that’s where most of the fun begins.
You can do three things. You can play around with AR Bots, play around with a pet robot, or you can play a two-player game of air hockey.
When playing with AR bots, you’ll be doing things you normally wouldn’t do when playing any other game. By sliding up on the DualShock 4’s touchpad, you can pop a robot out of your controller. You can do that a number of times, and then you can vacuum them back into your controller by holding on to the touchpad button. When swiping down, you can see that the “inside” of your controller houses all these AR bots, and you can shake your controller to cause some havoc, or press on any of the face buttons to make the robots dance to a light show.
With the pet robot, you’re essentially just playing around with a robot floating around in the room you’re. You can “pet” the robot or abuse it, and depending on how you treat it, the robot will either act cute or freeze, heat, or even electrify your head.
All the AR bots stuff are all just gimmicky things that seems to be more amusing when you have family around, or when you’re under some sort of influence.
As for what’s fun, there’s the air hockey mode. The two-player game is actually Pong, but the grid you play on can be stretched, shrunk, twisted, or however way you want to manipulate it depending on the angle and placement of your controller. Your paddles are controlled by using the touchpad, and if you press on the pad just as the puck comes your way, you can do a power shot.
That’s pretty much all The Playroom offers… for now.
What Makes It Worth My Time And Money?
Again, if you have a PlayStation 4, you already have access to The Playroom, but you need the camera sold separately to give it a try. It’s a tough sell due to how poorly the PlayStation Move was received in the previous generation, but if there’s any indication that Sony will take casual gamers more seriously, The Playroom is a good first try with some DLC coming along the way.