As I was signed on to the PlayStation Network last night, I wanted to try out some new features since I got my PlayStation Eye. I scrolled over to my list of friends and hit the triangle button to go to the option menu. One of the items was Invite to Chat, so I invited a few friends that were online to the chat lobby.
Then I was transported to a white room which somewhat resembled the original White Room ads that ran when the PS3 originally launched. The room was plain white with every friend’s gamer pics floating above the ground. There were empty white bubbles floating above the ground representing extra slots for chat room.
Below the room there were several options available for display, audio, and invite more friends to the chat lobby. From this menu you can choose to represent your image as your profile pic only, or use video feed if you have the PS Eye. You may even choose to alter your voice from the audio settings if you please.
I was really impressed by the slick interface and the physical space dedicated to the chat room instead of simply going with a menu driven interface. The options were clearly labeled and the experience felt like stepping into a Mac-designed future room of clean lines and surfaces and video conferencing.
There I sat for a few minutes after the wow effect started to wear off, feeling discouraged because nobody responded to the chat. To my surprise, I got a response from GaymerGeek. His profile pic came center screen and I heard his voice over my TV speakers. The pic pulsated and bounced to his voice, which made me laugh. Then he changed the setting to video feed instead of profile pic, and we left the white room. His video feed filled the screen and my feed was allocated to a small square at the bottom right corner of the screen. It was pretty amazing, to be sitting there on my couch and all of a sudden I was talking to a friend on the TV. We chatted about some of the new Network games that were out, and the dearth of RPGs on the PS3. That is, besides Oblivion of course. That’s another conversation entirely.
Overall the experience was entirely intuitive with a slick interface that felt like I stepped into a new area of the PS3. This feature would be great for video conferencing between work partners, or just friends who are away. If you have been on the fence about investing in the PS Eye, I feel it’s totally worth the price. The Eye games are great, especially Trials of Topoq, and the video chat feels like stepping into the future, today.