Eye Toy: Kinetic unveiled

Gadgets, Gaming

The Eye Toy: Kinetic, unveiled at this year’s EIEF, is perhaps the most
unusual angle that you could take Sony’s Eye Toy in but one that really might
work well and breath fresh life back into those old Eye Toy cameras that are
cluttering up the TV stand. Careful examination of previous Eye Toy titles made
SCEE London Studio realise that all of the frenetic hand waving could be
applied for some useful purpose greater than getting a heavy dose of RSI. Given
the popularity of fitness videos featuring every half-witted celebrity prepared
to put their name to the contract, Sony believes that virtual training, or
Physical Gaming, could prove a unique combination of fitness and playing. A
huge amount of corporate sponsorship from Nike Motionworks later and the Eye
Toy: Kinetic is ready to go. However it does seem as though the SCEE London has
gone the extra mile in ensuring that this is most all encompassing work-out
game ever to hit the shelves.

The game’s dedication to promoting physical
fitness enlisted the aid of hundreds of Nike employees and an extensive visit
to Nike’s World HQ. The development of the Full Vision Lens (FVL), which will
be packaged with the game, makes the whole human body into an on screen avatar lunging
around the living room in response to invisible forces. Acknowledging that such
wild movements could also lead to serious personal injury, Nike Motionworks has
overseen the development of every aspect of the game to ensure that each
exercise promoted by the game is safe and encourages a wide range of movement
to give a full body work out. The game’s virtual trainers are there to both
guide you through each action and to organise your warm up and stretches in
over 3 hours of footage. Further more you can tailor your own workout to ensure
that you get your favoured type of level in more or one appropriate to the
muscle group you want to work on.

The game will also push you to improve on
certain movements by increasing difficult levels if you are getting really good
at something and it can set up a long term program using the PS2’s internal
clock. The games themselves vary quite dramatically and will have you
performing a range of athletic feats determined by four categories of training
which are Cardio, Combat, Toning and Mind and Body, each of which has its own
environment and accompanying music style. Tai Chi style stretches, dancing and
frantically battering virtual enemies out of the sky as well as traditional sit
ups, etc are all available in the 22 different work outs and SCEE London has
also improved the camera technology so that it can now detect impact speed and
has greater sensitivity. A new slimmer camera will also be launched in
conjunction with Kinetic, which is specially designed to sit on a flatscreen

The Eye Toy: Kinetic will be released on
September 23rd and us lucky Brits will be the first to get our mitts
on it. I reckon that it might do Sony proud especially given the fitness video
fad and the fact that even buying the camera on top of it still makes the game
considerably cheaper than joining a gym or hiring a personal trainer. This and other exclusive EIEF news can be found on our fantastic sister blog Games Digest.

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