EyePet: Exposed!

Originally rumoured as software for the Geordies, EyePet is actually Sony’s attempt to do something useful with the PlayStation Eye.  First thoughts aren’t great though: A virtual pet – how mundane does that sound?

At TSA, still reeling from the BBC’s horrific expose of pedigree dog breeding, we thought we’d best take a closer look.

Ok, first off the choice of pet.  The obvious would have been to usurp Nintendogs crown as Pet-Game-Of-Choice by going for a canine pet, but no doubt tired of listening to everyone in the world complaining about Sony stealing ideas, they decided on something else.  A cat maybe?  Well, in terms of interactive fun, cats are about as enticing a prospect as Heavy Rain – no cats then.

That leaves only one thing really.  It’s what every good video game needs: MONKEYS!  Well, a ‘Simian-like pet’, but monkey is a word more likely to create awesome imagery inside your head, so we’ll go for that.

Now, EyePet is billed as the ‘ultimate pet for modern living’, which is a big boast considering we all live differently.  Monkeys, being agile little beggars, will no doubt fit in well in the inner-city estates, where they can help the Chavs with their petty thieving and vandalism.

Ok, ok so the EyePet does have some advantages over a real-life pet.  Firstly, it won’t require you to clean up after it has defecated all over your newly cleaned carpet.  Even better, you won’t have the embarrassing moments outside when your dog has pooed close to another steaming mess of dog excretia, and as you dutifully go to clear it up you can’t work out which is your dog’s.  There’s nothing worse than cleaning up another dog’s poo – ‘cos that’s just disgusting.

Also, the EyePet won’t have access to your various possessions and so, for example, the following will not happen:

1. Your house keys won’t mysteriously disappear every few hours, only to turn up the next day in the dog’s kennel.
2. Freshly cleaned and ironed clothing, hung up out-of-reach of any pet will not next be seen ripped to shreds with a ball of fluff in the middle of it looking sweet and innocent.
3. Your kitchen bin, with better security on it than Fort Know, will not have its contents strewn across the floor on your arrival home from work, the worst being the complementary pile of vomit left by your dog due to eating things it really shouldn’t have.
4. Newly hung curtains will never be torn to shreds literally minutes after the curtain-fitters leave, because your pet thought this new ‘toy’ was for them.

See, EyePet’s starting to sound somewhat appealing.  But, what can it actually do?

It’ll exist on-screen in your living room (or wherever the PSEye is pointing) and this will be constantly updated as you, er, update your living room.  Whether the EyePet will react to your frankly woeful Lewellyn-Bowen inspired decorating has not yet been made clear.  Anyway, update your on-screen living room by putting a ball in your real living room, and apparently the EyePet will know how to interact with it.  This opens up many eye-watering possibilities that we are sure some of you creative types will embrace with gusto.

So, new objects will be examined thoroughly by EyePet and presumably it’ll interact with them in certain ways.  Maybe you’ll be able to play those doggy games of football, or the game where you pretend to give your dog some food, but keep snatching it away for a laugh, until the dog quite rightly has a mard and bites your fingers off.  With the lack of pain this won’t be as good as usual though.

Other stuff you can do:

Tickle EyePet by waving your fingers in front of the PSEye.  Of course, the real join of tickling a real pet is that they are furry and soft and their tails wag and make a heart-breaking thump-thump-thump on the carpet.  EyePet?  EyePet will laugh.

If you poke EyePet it will jump.  This is much better than what happens when we poke our pet dog.  We’ve learned not to poke our pet dog.  So, you know, at least with EyePet we’ll be able to start living out our power fantasies again.

And finally, the classic pet game, chasing a ball again and again and again and…oh, will you please stop chasing the freaking ball I’m trying to watch Eastenders…and again.  EyePet will chase a ball around the screen, which sounds great fun, in fairness.  Especially as the TV has an off-button and a real pet doesn’t.  Win-win.

Have you seen those sick, twisted people that like to dress up their pets in ‘pet clothing’ and the like?  Yeah, let me dress you up as a Hoodie and see how you like looking like a tosser.  Yeah?  But, that’s what you’ll be able to do with EyePet.  Dress it up, and watch how it responds.  ‘cos of the PS3’s power, the graphics will depict a load of different facial expressions, so you’ll soon know if EyePet is happy or sad and what it thinks of your frankly horrendous dress sense.

The most awesome bit we have saved for last.

EyePet has lifelike fur.

So does our dog.  I wonder which one actually has ‘lifelike’ fur – eh?  EH?

All that being said, personally I’m gagging to try EyePet.  I’m such a sucker for a pretty face and fur.

EyePet – due in late 2009.  Guaranteed free from hereditary genetic defects.

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