Sony has turned to augmented reality to get you excited about its handheld console - the PSP - hoping it will be enough to sway would-be buyers of the Nintendo DS and its popular Nintendogs games.
EyePet, first debuted on the PS3 in 2009, has now made it to the PSP complete with the PSP camera; it allows you to play with a virtual pet anywhere you go, rather just in your lounge.
To make all this work you’ll need the Sony PSP camera on your PSP, and a special card that is shipped in the box.
If you’ve already got the PSP camera, great. If not you can buy it separately or buy the game with the camera bundled for around £30.
On the surface there is nothing different about the special card, however when seen by the camera, it has the necessary elements to bring the EyePet to life.
As long as you’ve got the special EyePet card with you, you can see your little critter, interact with him, and then play a series of mini games all on your bed, your desk, the bus, basically anywhere you can balance the card.
In practice and the Augmented Reality elements of the game, which you can either buy from a retailer or download from the PlayStation network store, works well.
You don’t have to stand too close or too far away from it for it to work, and moving the camera around your furry animal even changes the perspective. You’ve got yourself a living breathing critter that you can only see when you’ve got the PSP screen pointing in the right direction.
You can train him, nurture him, style him in his own clothes, and have fun with him wherever you go without the fear that he’ll poo on the carpet.
It’s cute seeing your little ball of fluff jumping around on your desk, but unless you like repetitive games like The Sims you will tire quickly.
Games include trampoline bouncing, fishing to fill a virtual aquarium, and allowing him to dig wherever you’ve put the card, and if you step too far away then rather than disappearing it will be captured in a bubble and slowly float to the top of the screen.
If you’ve got a PSP and are looking to check out what Augmented Reality is all about, then this is certainly one way to do it. However we suspect that you will get bored soon afterwards.