The Sony PlayStation 5 console is a spectacle, but the PS5 Camera, not so much. The official PlayStation 5 Camera is extremely limited in what it can do, and with so much wasted potential it's a shame that Sony can't upgrade it to appeal to its loyal gamers who don't use streaming platforms.
You can stretch your value for money further by looking elsewhere for a console-compatible camera. The only purpose of the PS5 Camera is for those who regularly stream gameplay directly from the PS5 console.
While initially pitched to gamers as a crucial accessory to complement your new console, with its aesthetically pleasing and on-brand white-and-black design, the PlayStation 5 HD Camera (opens in new tab) serves virtually no purpose to those who don't stream.
So what can Sony do to address these limitations? Here are five things I wish the PlayStation 5 Camera could do…
1. PlayStation VR compatibility
The current model of Playstation VR requires the PlayStation Camera (the 2016 PlayStation 4 version, sold separately) in order for the headset unit to function. Gamers having to purchase additional PlayStation Move controllers and fork out for a camera before they could even use their VR was a cheeky, money grabbing move five years ago – but the fact that the new Playstation 5 Camera isn't compatible with the existing PlayStation VR, let alone the upcoming Playstation VR2, really takes the cake.
Those of us who have used a Playstation VR know that it can be a mess of exceedingly long and thick cables, and time-consuming to set up all the confusing symbol-coded wires and cables into the box that connects the console to the headset, that's as well as plugging in the camera separately.
The Playstation 5 Camera requires only one cable (a USB-A connector) to connect to the PS5, so it would've made sense for Sony to offer its VR users a sleeker setup with backwards-compatibility of using the newest PlayStation 5 camera to replace the original PS4 Camera. However, the PlayStation 5 camera does not support motion – making it also incompatible with games like Just Dance.
Note: You can receive a free adapter ( CFI-ZAA1) from Sony by applying online with the serial number/ sticker code on the back of the PS VR Processor Unit. This free adapter will allow users to connect their PlayStation 4 Cameras to the PS5 for use with VR and motion-oriented games. This has not been advertised very well by Sony to its users, and is one per customer and serial code – meaning if you've purchased a second-hand unit the adapter may have already been claimed.(opens in new tab)
2. Webcam for social media and personal calls
The PS5 Camera cannot be used for in-game party chat, and you can't see your friends while playing games during any in-game video calling sessions. The camera also can't be used for other purposes, such as video calls via social media channels like Discord, Skype or WhatsApp.
Nor is the camera compatible with any other device besides the PlayStation 5. So if you planned on using the camera for university lectures over Zoom and Teams, then think again. It doesn't have facial recognition features, either, if this is something you were looking for.
Sony could have enabled compatibility across multiple devices and apps to allow for additional usage of this camera, with further potential for application in fields of business meetings, working from home and for students who study remotely and also game in their free time.
3. Inclusion of a built-in microphone
As well as the limited features and lack of device compatibility, this camera also lacks a microphone. Meaning that when it's being used for streaming, which is its primary purpose, an additional headset is required for the user to communicate with viewers of the stream – otherwise forcing the gamer to rely on the in-built microphone of the DualSense control pad, which is one of those love-it-or-hate-it functions of the controller that has gamers tangled in debate.
This lack of microphone could actually be a clever tactic from Sony, as many gamers will ditch a console's native controller for an upgraded, powerful, third-party one. With no microphone built into the official PS5 Camera, and in the unlikely but possible circumstance that a gamer does not have a headset to hand (or has thrown it against the wall), the official DualSense controller would be the only microphone option by default.(opens in new tab)
4. Better green screen functionality
One of the primary selling points of the PS5 Camera is its ability to work seamlessly with the PlayStation 5 to perform background removal, putting streamers in the spotlight and discarding their messy or boring game domains.
However, while many streamers have invested in the best green screen backgrounds (opens in new tab), a large portion of the community has suggested that a blue screen actually works much better for this feature. Problems have been reported that imply the camera's ability to recognize green screens is temperamental, but blue screens work like a charm when using chroma key.
Redditors have suggested that even when using multiple Elgato Key lights (opens in new tab) placed overhead along with the best ring lights (opens in new tab), no difference is made to the chroma key software that is causing them issues with green and static present on-screen.
If Sony had suggested the fix of using a blue screen, even maybe creating a branded blue PlayStation-themed screen to offer as a bundle with the camera, less gamers would be wasting their money and time on purchasing additional lights and screens in the hope of having the camera's removal tools function correctly.
5. High-quality 4K streaming
The Playstation 5 itself boasts 4K capabilities and resolution at 60fps, with the latest games looking sharp on this console when paired with the best 4K monitors (opens in new tab).
The Playstation 5 Camera, however, only outputs at 1080p, which is an improvement on the PlayStation 4 Camera's 800p, yet still not as impressive as capturing 4K video. And since Sony does not allow compatibility for any other webcams to be used with the PlayStation 5 console, if you're looking for the best 4K webcam (opens in new tab) to stream with, it might be best to look into purchasing a different setup that doesn't involve directly streaming from the console itself.
With higher quality streaming available elsewhere, Sony have missed the opportunity with this HD camera to allow gamers to have an advanced setup using solely Sony products, without having to shop with third-party competitors.
If this article hasn't managed to put you off, you can grab yourself a Playstation 5 HD Camera priced at around $60 / £50 / AU$100 from various retailers. Just don't say we didn't warn you!
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