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E3 Interview: Cuddle Up With EyePet

“In many ways, it’s about making the technology invisible to create a feeling of magic,” Nicolas Doucet, the producer of EyePet, explained while showing me what is arguably the most ingenious and certainly the most adorable game on show here at E3.

EyePet uses the PlayStation Eye camera to bring a furry pet to life in your living room. You can play with him, feed him, dress him, stroke him and teach him, and his responsiveness is incredible. Waggle your fingers and he’ll run over to play; stroke him and he’ll nuzzle up to you and flip onto his back for you to tickle his tummy. And Doucet is right – while you’re always aware of the sophisticated technology bringing it to life, you don’t think about it because you’re completely lost in the illusion.

EyePet ;PEyePet - snazzy pink jumper

The game comes with a Magic Card, which you place on the floor once the PlayStation Eye is set up. It then becomes the control device for a variety of toys. For example, there’s a trampoline which you can move around by simply sliding the Magic Card across the floor, and each toy has an associated goal, such as gaining a certain number of trampoline bounces, to unlock further toys.

This sense of play and interaction is just one aspect of the game, and its goals and challenges come mainly through how you nurture your furry friend.

“The game’s goals come from the Pet Centre and there is a professor who visits you every day – I’m talking about in-game days as opposed to real ones – and issues challenges based on your pet’s development,” said Doucet.

One of the most striking of the game’s features is the way you can draw objects on a regular piece of paper and see them come to life for your EyePet to play with. I drew a wobbly set of wheels and tractor body and held it up to the camera, and my pet copied it and, when it came to life and I started moving it with the Wireless Controller, he started chasing it around.

“We encourage creative play through drawing and customisation,” added Doucet. “We find that kids will experiment with different designs and materials when drawing and find out that if you add more wheels to a car or change its material, for example, it will act differently. There are also lots of fur types and you can alter everything from colour, to patterns, to fur length, and add clothes. We’ve got classic play outfits such as pirates and firemen, and more realistic pet outfits.”

EyePet is a beautiful family game that has left a huge grin on my face. For anyone with young children it’s an enchanting way to play together and teach them how to look after a pet, and it’s also one of the most amazing uses of the PlayStation Eye technology I have seen.

EyePet producer Nicolas DoucetNicolas Doucet, producer of EyePet

50 Comments
4 Author replies
JordanBlack68 03 June, 2009 @ 15:10
1

When is the release date?

James Gallagher 03 June, 2009 @ 17:02
1.1

Lots of questions about this so I just spoke to Kim, the product manager. We’re not able to confirm the actual date but can assure you all that EyePet will be out before Christmas 2009.

LISTEN TO ME SONY!!!!!!

THIS COULD BE HUGE FOR YOU!!!!!!

ADVERTISE THE HELL OUT OF IT!!!!!!!!!!

…. your welcome lol

3

Yeah when does it release ? This was allready at E3 2008 and then I was allready sold :D Great little game just to make me happy when I’m down.

Can you really draw anything ? Or are you limited to certain shapes and angles ?

James Gallagher 03 June, 2009 @ 16:58
3.1

You can draw cars, planes, balloons, robots and puppets, and there are a few simple rules to learn. So, for example, to create a car you draw the wheels and body separately, then they come together and are realised in 3D; you can play around with multiple wheels, different body-shapes and lots of different materials.

Depending on what kind of object you draw, you then get to use your creation in a mini-game. So when I made my duck-plane, I got to fly it around with my EyePet in the cockpit, bursting balloons.

4

1. Need video

2. Can I bring my pet with me on my PSP?

3. Release time frame?

4. Calling mine Toro!

5

Awww. It looks so cute…

…until you dress the little monkey up as a Heavy Metal Rock Star!!!

6

Any chance of putting up a video? Please.

I need somo more info about this game. It’s really awesome.

Baz_the_great 03 June, 2009 @ 15:20
8

The EyePet link in the first paragraph takes you to a page with a video, http://uk.playstation.com/games-media/news/articles/detail/item118063/EyePet/

9

With two young children this is a day one purchase for me. I love the video and the interaction is brilliant.

Well done to Sony for using existing tech and adding to it, with EyePet and the motion controller.

I wounder if you can choose different pets. Or have your pet participate in certain games.

looks good though! I hope they incorporate the motion controls into this also.

James Gallagher 03 June, 2009 @ 17:00
10.1

There aren’t different pets as such, but they are so customisable that you can pretty much create whatever you like. I made a tiger in a fireman costume!

This really could be something. Maybe i’ll buy this with my little sister.

12

@8 Old video is Old.

I meant a video interview.

13

The tech behind this game is great! I hope this will be the next Buzz/Singstar in terms of success.

14

Is it still a 2009 release?
Wow I want to see in real!!
Ow and is there a game in develop with the technologie that we’ve seen a year ago from a Sony insider. Who made his own game by drawing objects on a paper, and the EYE recognized it, and makes a game from it? Wow I was so exited about that!

When??

Important question, why you didn’t show ideo on E3 conference? IMO it looks great:D
Will it be relased this year?

18

me and my kids are going to so love this

strangeplaice 03 June, 2009 @ 16:13
19

Normally I hate these types of games and think of them as soppy nonsense but this and the new PS3 controller thing @E3 both look great!

20

@Musiol

I think Sony literally ran out of time at E3, there were rumours that the guys making Heavy Rain and Insomniac were all meant to come out on stage.

Could all be filthy internet lies though.

21

looks really good and my 4 year old will love playing this….. oh and me to.

release date?????

there is a new video of eyepet on the playstation store under the e3 videos for all the people asking for a video of this

22

modnation racers also looks really good these kind of games are great family games.

LBP,BUZZ,EYEPET AND MODNATION RACERS

I want an eyepet monkey man but I have no kids to use as an excuse :(

24

this and heavy rain (lol) must buys for me

ah wow there’s a new trailer on youtube looks amazing
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEBmj8gMvKw

i so want this! looks awesome!

Can you make your EyePet evil?

lol

-Ad-

28

will this game come with the eyetoy thing as well plus all the bits you need like a all in one bundle pack???

29

Is this game “Tamagochi” or Nintendo’s “Dogz” like? You have to play this game once a day for that pet don’t die?

James Gallagher 03 June, 2009 @ 19:05
29.1

It’s not like that as such, but if your pet gets sick or you neglect him, he gets really sad (you can tell by his face) and won’t want to play as much. Also, by looking after him well you can earn items such as new outfits, as well as Trophies.

xKillerMonkeyx 03 June, 2009 @ 18:11
30

So Sony invented the Natal thing first lol

I will be getting this for sure, looks so fun, might even break my GF into gaming.

31

Not baad looking :D just need to buy a playstation eye and get a room with some space in then! :P

32

the biggest neglect for this is the same as GT5

no releasedate.
btw when are the PSN-cards coming for the EU.
whats the use of releasing a PSP-go,if you cannot add funds to it

TheBussinessMan 03 June, 2009 @ 19:04
33

Looks like Sonys got 2 ends of the spectrum covered. Eyepet and Heavy Rain.

It looks pretty good, it’ll be interesting to see how this compares to that milo thing. It seems like its got most the things that Milo has but the eyepet doesnt speak.

Angry-Irishman 03 June, 2009 @ 19:26
34

this looks really cool, they should support the ps eye more with lots more cool games like this.

35

Wait hang on, after watching this vid all i can say is, why on earth did this not get shown at the sony show?, after seeing MS do there milo thing etc this quite clearly has a lot of simialr things in it (like the pet copying what you draw and reacting exactly to your movements), seems like a wasted oppourtunity IMO.

Looks cool though, my 7 year will love this (i might to :D)

majesticbeastt 03 June, 2009 @ 19:48
36

So did they have a demo about this where they demostrated this drawing to life mechanic cause that would be a huge step if this could be used for games like lbp or otheres later on.

LOVE THIS GAME! Been waiting since last e3 for this. Now all i need to get is the EYE, i just hope they dont produce a new EYE for the motion controls. Cuz i want that too :D

Mygirlfriends 03 June, 2009 @ 20:07
38

A more evolved “PS Eye” like “Natal” would be a great idea…

39

Is this game bundled with the Playstation Eye hardware or sold seperately or both? And what is the projected pricing (US)?

ondrejburda 03 June, 2009 @ 21:02
40

In current PS2 price point why you don’t taking chance and not releasing PS2 bundle with EyeToy and for example all EyeToy kinetic games? These are already there some time but came long before motion mania. To be honest i am still hoping for proper Kinetic version for PS3 but when girlfriends of my wife sow Kinetic in action they fall in love. Sony pls. you have a tech already running and games which working. With current price of PS2 just make bundle as I mentioned above and release it for 150$/Euro and promote it in woman magazines/TV and you will have a hit. Even now PS2 kinetic blow away Nintendo Fit. Just show to world that you were first in motion control and take your credit. Than we should stop hearing other companies to speak how they re-define wheel and other great comments. Also if you will just spend short time to prepare dumped version of PSN for old PS2 with for example USB as a storage you can get completely new business model from old PS2 with great support of games ...

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In current PS2 price point why you don’t taking chance and not releasing PS2 bundle with EyeToy and for example all EyeToy kinetic games? These are already there some time but came long before motion mania. To be honest i am still hoping for proper Kinetic version for PS3 but when girlfriends of my wife sow Kinetic in action they fall in love. Sony pls. you have a tech already running and games which working. With current price of PS2 just make bundle as I mentioned above and release it for 150$/Euro and promote it in woman magazines/TV and you will have a hit. Even now PS2 kinetic blow away Nintendo Fit. Just show to world that you were first in motion control and take your credit. Than we should stop hearing other companies to speak how they re-define wheel and other great comments. Also if you will just spend short time to prepare dumped version of PSN for old PS2 with for example USB as a storage you can get completely new business model from old PS2 with great support of games and these peoples will stay longer with playstation brand as current price point sometimes leading peoples to think about other platform.
So Sony please just think about this.
Thx a lot and best regards
Ondrej Burda / Czech Republic

41

my gf will demand this! but she wont need to..i’ll definitely be getting it:)

Thats to cute:D Good to give something for the kids/parents out there.

Naive_Super 04 June, 2009 @ 01:03
43

Cute? …Am I the only person freaked out by this ‘EyePet’ creature?

44

That is so cool!

Smoutefretter_BE 04 June, 2009 @ 08:12
45

could be a fun game for the PS Eye.
It’s also great to hear the pet reacts fairly good to the actions the player makes.

It is great to see the PlaystationEye getting some support and EyePEt looks great, but does Sony have anything else in the pipeline for the device, besides the new motion controls that is?

elephant_stone 04 June, 2009 @ 12:59
47

The tech behind this is really impressive…all through the standard PSeye.

I seem to remember there being a tech development video from SCEA about a year ago where this guy drew some tanks on a paper, pointed the PSeye at it and then the tanks came to life in a top down shooter!! Very similar to the drawing feature in EYEpet!!

Will we see similar functionality with the new motion controller too?!

@2
I agree, advertise the hell out of this!!!!

makingdamage 04 June, 2009 @ 17:36
49

One word: cute! I´am 32 years old so this maybe shouldn’t make me interested but with that charm that little pet has I´m sold!

Also, great choice of music! Which group and track is it?

50

aww so cute, the music in the trailer is so cool

I have a question

– Since my family dosnt understand English,will they be able to enjoy it fully?

i mean as if the eyepet uses voice recognition etc

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