Interview: EyePet's Nicolas Doucet discusses Move integration

We were starting to worry that SCEA had forgotten about EyePet when its planned holiday 2009 release came and went. Sony's Eye-enabled virtual pet simulator made a surprising reemergence recently, now featuring PlayStation Move support. We chatted with EyePet producer Nicolas Doucet about implementing Sony's motion controller into the game, and what that means for gamers, new and old.

By removing the Magic Card, and replacing it with motion controls, isn't this new version of EyePet, essentially, a brand new game?

Especially for North America and Japan, as well. It's going to be the first release, so yeah it's a brand new game. We've really made a lot of effort to make sure that whatever we converted from the Magic Card for the Move wasn't just a port. We deconstructed and reconstructed things to really make it feel like a Move-dedicated game. Obviously, to begin with it wasn't. We put a lot of effort into that. We've extended the development by another nine months to really give something special to players.

Will it be a PlayStation Move launch title?

Yes it will be, this Fall.
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What kind of hardware bundles can we expect for EyePet when it releases in the US?

I believe there's a bundle with, obviously, the controller, the camera and the game. Perhaps even console bundles, that's something that's been talked about.

How will European gamers (who already have a copy of EyePet) be able to play this new Move-enabled version? Will it be released as a patch?

We're going to make sure we make this version available to those that bought the original EyePet at a very, very discounted price. It's being discussed exactly if it should be completely free, but I think at worst it will be a small fee. Obviously, there's still a lot of new functionality, there's new toys, but we're going to make sure whatever we do, people won't feel like they're being shortchanged.


Do you think a new title will be necessary?
Perhaps. We haven't decided on a final title for this, but I imagine we want to make sure it's representative of the PlayStation Move.



Addendum:

While I was going to do a full hands-on post with the Move-enabled EyePet, I found it difficult to add sufficient flourish to what is, essentially, the same gameplay experience. The PlayStation Move offers a much better tactile feel than the game's original Magic Card. Seeing the Move controller turn into a shower head, for example, is very neat, and being able to move it in the virtual environment simply feels better than in the original. That being said, the gameplay experience hasn't changed too much. The Move should provide a better "feel" for the virtual instruments you use, and should do away with one of the original's most glaring tech problems: lighting. Compared to the original, where lighting detection could be rather finicky, the self-lighted solution the Move offers should make it much easier for the Eye to detect.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.