Sony rejected Natal’s 3D camera tech
Dr. Richard Marks, senior researcher at SCEA, has been saying that Sony had the opportunity to work with 3DV Systems, the Israeli based company responsible for the technology behind Microsoft’s Natal, but ultimately choose not to because there were concerns over reliability, cost and it’s potential to “enable enough new experiences”.
Dr Marks had been speaking on a recent Engadget Show, and was asked about Sony possibly investing in a 3D camera like Natal.
“We tried a lot of different 3D cameras. I love the 3D camera technology; personally, I like the technology part of it. We worked closely with our game teams at what it would enable, and it enabled making the things we already did with EyeToy more robust, but it didn’t really enable as many new experiences as what we were hoping it would enable, so it made the things we were already able to do a little bit more robust — which is good — but it adds a lot of cost and it didn’t enable some of the other experiences we wanted to achieve.”
Dr Marks also stated that the 3D cameras struggle to track in poor lighting. The PlayStation Eye Camera has the same problem, and this is why you can find those glowing spheres on Move.
“Sometimes a tech demo doesn’t translate into a product very well, for example, we were tracking those colored balls, but since there’s no light in the ball or anything like that, the lighting in the room has to be good enough for the camera to see the color reliably and that makes for a difficult product when you don’t have a control over those variables. And with the 3D camera it’s a little bit similar that we found that there were some things we wanted to be able to do and sometimes it wouldn’t work reliably for what we wanted to do.”
This story follows on from last month’s report that Nintendo had also rejected 3DV Systems following concerns over cost.
Microsoft has managed to generate huge interest in its Natal project, but they haven’t actually demonstrated it much to the public; are Microsoft being completely open regarding its limitations? Or is Natal really the future; if so, has Sony and Nintendo missed an opportunity?
[source: PlayStation Lifestyle]