Cerny: Selling cameras separately makes sense

Cerny: Selling cameras separately makes sense
James Batchelor

By James Batchelor

July 9th 2014 at 1:30PM

PS4 lead architect says PlayStation Camera does not need to be bundled with hardware to be a success

Keeping the PlayStation Camera out of the standard PlayStation 4 bundle was both a wise and necessary decision, Sony has reflected.

The device came up in conversation during this morning’s keynote at the 2014 Develop Conference, in which PlayStation boss Andrew House and PS4 architect Mark Cerny discussed the platform holder’s journey across four consoles.

Having already discussed some of the decision-making behind the specs of the PS4, and how developers helped with this, House emphasised that Sony Computer Entertainment always planned to keep the price point down. His colleague shared a little more about the sacrifice that was eventually made.

“It cost more than $1bn to include the hard drive, and to include the GDDR5 [PS4’s graphics and systems RAM], so something had to give,” Cerny explained. “For me the camera makes sense as a separate proposition. It does not need to be included with the hardware to be a success.”

Their comments obviously follow the surprise (but not entirely unwelcome) news that Microsoft has removed Kinect from the Xbox One bundle, instead making it a separate purchase.

The platform holder insists it is still dedicated to the tech, with a new Dance CentralUbisoft’s Shape Up and ID@Xbox title Thru all using the divisive peripheral.

House added that, in SCE’s quest to make PS4 more about consumer choice than previus PlayStations, “having the camera separate was not a negative”. He also believes it has room to grow as a compelling device for both devs and gamers.

“We’re seeing not even the full potential but a glimmering of what things like PlayRoom could be,” he said. “Rather than forcing it onto consumers and then by extension onto developers, we thought if we had good experiences people would embrace it and purchase it. Happily, that’s what we’ve seen.”