Forget Natal, the future is now. Sony has confirmed a US release date for EyePet, the PlayStation 3 virtual pet simulator.
EyePet will be coming to North American audiences on November 17, 2009. Two packages will be available: just the game for $39.99, and the game bundled with a PlayStation Eye camera (required to play) for $59.99.
EyePet uses the PlayStation Eye to allow players to interact with an on-screen monkey pet ... thing. The pet can be played with in various ways, such as scratching its belly, simply by using your hands. I wonder how well this will work in practice, and just how much the background that the PlayStation Eye is pointed at will matter, but it still looks like an interesting piece of software.
In case that sounds boring on its own, EyePet does have a bit more depth to it. Using the included "magic card," all types of virtual objects can be brought into the pet's environment, including a trampoline and a shower nozzle. Your pet can also get sick and will need to be diagnosed with a medical scanner. Of course, the pet can be dressed up with over 250 collectible items, putting the title into direct competition with Petz Fashion: Dogz & Catz.
An interesting feature is the ability for players to draw shapes on a piece of paper that are copied into the game and assembled into cars, airplanes, and other objects for the pet to ride on or play with. How this feature will work exactly isn't clear to me, and it seems like preset shapes would need to be used somehow, but who knows? Unfortunately, a recent GamesCom demo video does not show the drawing feature, but it does show just about everything else. Remember kids, just because it's a virtual pet doesn't mean it should be carelessly abused.
Source: PlayStation Blog