Infamous: Second Son can be played without a right analog stick.
At last week’s Game Developers Conference, a few lucky people were able to try out some new eyeball-tracking technology from Sony which let them take control of the new PS4 game, Infamous: Second Son. Apart from doing away with the right analog stick altogether, the device could also make gameplay much more intuitive.
Instead of having to use an analog stick to pan the camera within a game, players just have to move their eyes in the direction they want to look. This also extends to aiming weapons, which creates a more convincing in-game experience. As described by Chris Kohler from Wired.com, “eventually I forgot that I was using eye tracking at all. Focusing on things that we’re interested in is so instinctual, so immediate that it was as if my brain was controlling the camera.”
The hardware used to track eye movement is made by a German company called SensoMotoric, which has been working with Sony for a few years on the technology. It looks a lot like a Microsoft Kinect camera, except that it’s thinner, and yellow. The device sits in front of players, between them and the screen, and points up towards their eyes so that it can track each individual movement.
While it’s unlikely that games which fully integrate eye-tracking technology will be a reality any time soon, it’s promising news that there is work being done. Exactly how much this kind of device would cost is also a complete mystery, but first things first, let’s just hope Sony can develop a game with no need for a right analog stick.