EyeToy – The Retro Graveyard

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Mitch takes a look at the EyeToy for the Playststaion 2!

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Welcome to the Retro Graveyard, the show where each week we take a different piece of old discontinued video game hardware back from the grave to give it a retrospective. This time, we’re looking at the EyeToy.

This is the EyeToy. I absolutely loved this thing when it came out over a decade ago in 2003. It’s essentially a webcam for the PS2, originally manufactured by Logitech, but manufacturing later switched to a company called Namtai.

The camera itself is in a case styled just like the Original PS2, and its mounted on a Pivot, so you can easily tilt it. It also has a blue power indicator, and another RED LED that lets you know when its too dark for the camera to work properly. It takes video at 30fps at a resolution of 320×240. There’s also a built in microphone. Pretty standard for a Logitech webcam in 2003.

The idea was originally came up with by a guy named Richard Marks, who got the idea the first time he saw the Playstation 2 on display at the 1999 Game Developers Conference. He joined the R&D team over at Sony Entertainment of America to work on the project, which was later moved to the London studio. They had a working demo by 2002, and the EyeToy was released to the public just a year later.

But as long time Retro Graveyard viewers know, this isn’t the first camera accessory for a home game console. That title would go to the Sega Dreameye, and the first portable camera accessory was the Game Boy Camera.

For the first time in this shows history, I’m talking about a piece of hardware that doesn’t really have much to be said about it at all, theres not a whole lot unique about it. It’s literally just a Logitech webcam. The magic is all in the software.

For this retrospective, I went and got my hands on 4 games from the Eye Toy line. I had to sift through a whole crap load of old PS2 games at a pawn shop, but I eventually found some.

It originally came packaged with a game called EyeToy: Play. A collection of 13 mini games.

In total worldwide, 26 games were released that required the EyeToy to play, and there were a whole lot more that were enhanced by EyeToy. An example of which is in Tony Hawk’s Underground 2, where you can use the camera to add your face to your player made character and oh my god that’s horrifying.

So here’s a little known fact. The EyeToy wasn’t just compatible with the Playstation 2. People made drivers for Windows, as well as Mac OSX and Linux so you could use your EyeToy as a standard PC webcam. You can even use it with the PS3! Yes, although the PS3 does have a successor to the EyeToy in the Playstation Eye, you can still use the EyeToy for video chatting. You can also use it to make stickers in LittleBigPlanet.

So, the Sony EyeToy wasn’t the first video game camera. But it was the first successful attempt at motion gaming. And it definitely wasn’t the last of either of those things.

It was succeeded by the Playstation Eye for PS3, The Playstation Camera for the PS4.

As for competitors, it took until the next generation for Microsoft to come around with the launch of the Xbox Live Vision Camera on the 360. Which was then succeeded by the Kinect, and now the Kinect 2.

All of those accessories were made with the purpose of playing video games with your body as the controller, and it all started with this little guy.

Thanks for watching this episode everyone. And a very special thanks to TJ Thomas for sending me this EyeToy to use! I lost mine a while ago, and I really appreciate it. If anyone else has a cool thing for me to do a video on, I’m, of course, always open to that.

Anyway, thats it for this Retro Graveyard. See ya in the next one.

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29 comments

  1. James Bearss 12 July, 2020 at 12:17 Reply

    Does anyone else remember the weird eyetoy portion you could play in Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban? or was that a weird fever dream I had?

  2. Mario Towers 12 July, 2020 at 12:17 Reply

    That thing was probably ahead of its time, I mean now it looks dumb but I can almost bet kids were like this is so awesome

  3. Jake Knapp 12 July, 2020 at 12:17 Reply

    Not extremely retro but it is from a decade ago I have it I am 16 I experience it today and I am from a small town outside of akron Ohio okay not a problem okay and what’s retro fro gaming is mostly the 70s and 80s alsot he golden age of gaming also arcade gaming

  4. sgtjasonbond 12 July, 2020 at 12:17 Reply

    Huh not a bad review, I actually thought I would look up the eyetoy for the PS2 because let's say one of my cousins came over and basically said I could sell most of his stuff on sites since he didn't have the patience for it. But when I looked in the boxes he apparently had the eyetoy and I thought about looking up a review of the device then but I got a bit busy so I thought why not do it today since didn't have a lot to do. But it looks like it was pretty decent and the antigrav game looks pretty fun with it so I might have to consider picking that game up but yeah I guess I got the eyetoy technically for free but I just wanted to see if it was any good really. But from this review it seems like your saying it's a good device but it isn't the best. I also seen the eyetoy compatible with Tony Hawk American's Wasteland or Tony Hawk Underground (the original one) I think but it's most likely for the same feature as Tony Hawk Underground 2 it would seem like at least.

  5. Paige Parrish 12 July, 2020 at 12:17 Reply

    My cousins had this thing. Once a year we would fly up to see them and we would play the ninja game right after we got out of their pool. Memories.

  6. Jake Knapp 12 July, 2020 at 12:17 Reply

    Hey can you not say the f word too much just saying why because kinda annoying and it is a strong word

  7. atomic ace 12 July, 2020 at 12:17 Reply

    So it is kind of like a low-tech Xbox 360 Connect LOL JK I used to have one I didn't have any games for it though I don't know what happened to my eye toy I still have the PS2 though I don't know if it works been sitting in my closet for 5 years

  8. Solo Noco 12 July, 2020 at 12:17 Reply

    2:40 my dad's a crackhead now who I've never met (was fine when my mom met him tho ofc) and one time he walked past me when I was a kid and my mom pointed him out to me and said that's your dad, I remember he was walking with a ladder and a bucket, washing windows for drug money, and me and my mom used to laugh at the washing windows level on eyetoy and imagine him washing windows 😂😂😂😁😂

  9. Samy Aino 12 July, 2020 at 12:17 Reply

    Actually, from what I remember, Eye Toy Play 3 was pretty good. Way better than the first two games.

  10. Oivatank 12 July, 2020 at 12:17 Reply

    Anyone here play the Harry Potter EyeToy game?

    Edit: that’s odd, it’s not even on the list of all EyeToy games.

  11. Oivatank 12 July, 2020 at 12:17 Reply

    Hey man, EyeToy Play was my jam back in the day! You also forgot about the play room or whatever with all the fun filters.

  12. Jack Crinnion 12 July, 2020 at 12:17 Reply

    I got an eye toy and played the hell out of the disc it included.
    Got a spy game for it and that SUCKED lol.

  13. Drtrider 12 July, 2020 at 12:17 Reply

    Would be nice if you shut that gaping hole in the front of your face so we could enjoy the nostalgia of the games I haven't seen in years.

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