Sony Offers Cryptic Statement On PS4 Voice Commands

Sony Offers Cryptic Statement on PS4 Voice Commands

Sony last night addressed whether the PS4 features voice command capabilities through the PlayStation camera, but the company's statement may not reveal as much as it initially seems.

The rumour that the PS4 would feature voice command capabilities popped up when video of a presentation made by SCEA's group manager of retail training and advocacy Sean Coleman at this week's GameStop Expo in Las Vegas was uploaded to YouTube on Thursday.

In the video Coleman says the DualShock 4's light bar and the PlayStation Camera work together to "enhance" the overall experience, and the camera's lenses can track body movements and recognise players' faces. None of that is too surprising, but the words on the display during this part of the presentation (about five and a half minutes in) are, as they include mention of "navigational voice commands."

To be fair, Coleman didn't say it out loud during his talk. But Sony did sent a statement to Polygon yesterday, saying, "Sony Computer Entertainment can confirm that PlayStation Camera allows for voice recognition and we will look forward to sharing more details in the lead up to the launch of PlayStation 4 on November 29 [15 for U.S.]."

Hang on. Voice recognition? We've known about that possibility for months, but "recognition" does not necessarily equal "navigational commands like what Kinect does." Voice recognition provides the framework for voice commands, yes, but that hardly confirms that we'll be saying "PlayStation, On!" like with Xbox One.

I've reached out to Sony separately to find out if they really can confirm PS4 voice command features, or if they're just playing word games in anticipation of a big reveal later on.


    At this point I assume anything Sony aren't saying about the PS4 is a negative thing, since they've been so eager to point out all the positive things, especially when it makes them look good next to the Xbone.

      That's pretty much true of every single company selling every single product on earth. You don't see too many companies going around talking up their competitor's products against their own.

        My point is that the PS4 marketing has been LOOK AT ALL THE GREAT STUFF THE CONSOLE WILL PROBABLY DO*

        *(we'll explain how it actually works later in case that upsets you)

        Whereas Microsoft have focused more on limitations that are needed to support the features, and had to backpeddle on most of them.

        If Sony isn't taking the opportunity to explain specifically why this is 10 times better than Kinect, then I have to assume it's considerably worse til proven otherwise.

      I'd assume the opposite - Sony is likely to announce towards launch that "Oh, yeah, if you have a PSEye you can do that "voice control" thing too - but it's not our focus, what with ALL THESE GAMES!" or something similar.

      They've been heavily focused on presenting themselves as gaming first as a point of difference to MS. Including voice controls as a throw-away/throw-in before launch makes a strong statement that it isn't a focus for the company, their eye is on the prize of gaming.

        By "all these games" are you referring to the multiplatform games that are on Xbox as well? Because ps4 doesn't have anywhere near as many AAA exclusives that Xbox one will have

          Because ps4 doesn't have anywhere near as many AAA exclusives that Xbox one will have

          [citation needed]

          I think if history has taught us anything, it's that Sony has always had the larger pool of exclusives.

      I think its more that Sony dont want to say anything as they might be a little scared by how Microsoft's loyal fans are not exactly... Open to alot of what ms have to say... So it may be that Sony are just trying to avoid all that.

      they are not commenting on this because the voice command feature is still in development.they will not reveal it until it finishes & ready to live.

    I take it the writer of this article didn't read the articles he took this news from properly.

    The slide in the Sony conference at the GameStop event clearly states

    "From navigational voice commands to facial recognition, the PlayStation Camera adds incredible innovation to your gaming."

    Yes. Navigational voice commands. Like what Kinect does.

    We will have to wait for more details to see how extensive the navigation voice commands are.

    Just another feature that will get mocked on the Xbox One, and applauded for on the PS4.

      It's always more complex than that.

      I believe the difference between the two will be:

      MS: This is the core feature of our games console, let's talk about it a lot.
      Sony: We have a games console, lots of games, let's talk about games. Oh, and here's this optional control feature if you want it.

      You mean another feature that people will attempt to use as an argument as to how MS is being victimised, when really they don't understand the difference between a mandatory piece of hardware and functionality and a completely optional peripheral?

      It's the same thing with Apple. Apple is known for its ability to take something that has been around for years and sometimes mocked by people, and turn it into marketing gold. It's just psychology and implementation. Microsoft's blunder was to make the Kinect mandatory and promote the voice commands as always on, taking control and choice away from the consumer. Sony has taken the subtler route of making the camera and voice command functionality a completely optional purchase, giving the consumer the choice as to whether they will buy and install it or not.

        Voice commands always on - nope.
        Optional control scheme - yep.

        As for making it come standard? All that has done is remove the "gimmicky" side of these peripherals, and instead make it a standard for all Xbox One users to have. The PSEye will not be developed for, and if it is, it will be in a small amount. It will face the same problems as Kinect 1. No one will develop for a game / application to use a device that very few players have. Kinect 2 will not suffer that problem.

    "Hello. Is anybody out there?"

    For a moment, I had a vision of the Playstation Camera randomly talking to you with Portal turret soundbites. I'd buy one for every room if that were the case.

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