How the PlayStation Camera Works

Gaming with the PlayStation Camera

"Just Dance 2014," shown here at an E3 demo in Los Angeles, Calif., is one of the titles that takes advantage of the PlayStation Camera's capabilities.
"Just Dance 2014," shown here at an E3 demo in Los Angeles, Calif., is one of the titles that takes advantage of the PlayStation Camera's capabilities.
© ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

As of January 2014, there aren't yet many games for the PS4 that utilize the Camera for gameplay, although hopefully more are in the works.

"Just Dance 2014," a four-player party dancing game, is the first one that will fully support the new Camera as a standalone input device. You can also use the older Move controllers with the game in conjunction with the Camera for more accurate motion capture. Other upcoming PS4 titles that will purportedly support the Move are "Octodad: Dadliest Catch" and "Sportsfriends." The Camera can also be used to capture your image during profile setup in the racing game "Driveclub."

If you don't have any games that utilize the PlayStation Camera yet, there's always "The Playroom," which comes pre-installed on the PS4. It provides interactive demonstrations of what you can do with the DualShock 4 Controller and the Camera. However, if you don't have the PlayStation Camera, all you can do in "The Playroom" is watch a demonstration of the controller and Camera features.

The less exciting choices in the Playroom include "Camera Setup," which is -- surprise! -- the initial camera setup for using Playroom, and "Controller Check," which demonstrates the features of the DualShock 4 controller, including the light bar, touchpad, motion, rumble and speaker features.

"The Playroom" also includes three entertaining game and game-like activities:

  • "AR Hockey" is a two-player game that resembles "Pong." You move the paddle up and down with the touch pad to hit or block the ball, and you continuously change the dimensions of the play area by moving your controller in various directions.
  • "Play with Asobi" allows you to interact with a single flying (and occasionally retributive fire-throwing) pet robot called Asobi.
  • "AR Bots" lets you play with a bunch of cute, identical augmented reality (AR) robots that apparently live in your controller. You can see them inside the DualShock 4 (on screen), reacting to your controller motions. You can throw them out of the controller and into your living room one-by-one with a swipe of the touchpad. They will interact with you (via your gestures), each other and their surrounding environment. You can even draw simple objects on a PlayStation Vita or with the PlayStation App on a mobile device, throw them onto the screen and watch the little bots play with them.

The Camera will also let you include a close-cropped picture-in-picture video of yourself, along with voice narration, while you live-stream your gameplay via Twitch or Ustream. However, at least as of early 2014, you can't narrate recorded footage after the fact.

There is a "share" button on the DualShock 4 controller that allows you to choose to broadcast your gameplay, and you press it, you can choose what service to use and whether you want to include your personal audio and video. The audio will be captured by the Camera unless you also have a headset connected, in which case the audio will default to the headset microphone. You can stream your gameplay without the Camera, just without video of yourself. And as mentioned earlier, you can take screenshots of your gameplay via voice command, as well.

The Twitch live-streaming service has banned "The Playroom" from streaming, at least temporarily, due to a lot of non-game related, and sometimes disturbing, footage that was streamed shortly after the launch of PS4 [sources: McCormick, Slashgear].