EyeToy: Chat

Release date: 11 February 2005
Developer: SCEE
Publisher: SCEE


Talk face-to-face with your friends via your TV, with this handy application that turns your EyeToy into a bona fide videophone!

Ever turned up to a party and found out you're wearing exactly the same outfit as friend? Always find that your siblings are hogging the phone when you need to make a vital call to a mate? Fancy a chat and game of chess at the same time but can't find anybody to play with you? All of these dilemmas - and more - can now easily be avoided thanks to EyeToy: Chat, a videophone application for PS2 that lets you converse with friends and fellow Chat owners - face-to-face.

All you'll need to get Chatting is a PS2, a Network Adaptor and broadband connection to get online, an EyeToy (which has a built-in mic) and a copy of EyeToy: Chat. Then it's just a matter of finding other Chat users to talk to - and you're away!

EyeToy: Chat has been designed with complete user-friendliness in mind, which means that it's a far cry from existing videophone-style software for personal computers. Setting it up is a ridiculously simple four-part process:

1. Set up your PS2 Network Adaptor (see our Network Gaming section for all the help you'll need).

2. Sign up to Central Station and give yourself a handle and password which will be stored on your Memory Card.

3. Stick your EyeToy: Chat disk into your PS2 and enter your details.

4. Get calling!

If you're worrying about the cost of accounts or setting up a contract, well, don't. One of Chat's many benefits is that because you'll be shooting the breeze via a broadband connection, every call you make is totally free. Whether you're looking for help, trying to organise an online gaming session, planning a big night out, or just wanting to hear the latest gossip, you're not going to have to splash out any more cash.

Chat also features a host of other cool features, including the chance to send a 30-second video mail to your friends, chat with up to 15 other users in voice and text-only chat rooms or even banter with up to a whopping 255 Chat-ters in text-only chat rooms. In addition, you'll be able to enjoy a game of chess, draughts or Naval War (battleships by any other name) as you gab.

EyeToy: Chat can be used by users of all ages, although any concerned parents should note that it features full parental control and a variety of optional security features.

  • Chat face-to-face with your friends and family using your EyeToy and Network Adaptor - all calls are free!

  • Enter text-only chat rooms with up to 255 other people, or voice and text chat rooms with 15 other Chat-ters

  • Full parental control and optional security features

  • Play games while you talk - chess, draughts and Naval War

  • Incredibly easy to set-up and use


Get fit with EyeToy

Fancy spicing up your fitness regime with a spot of martial arts? Give EyeToy: Kinetic Combat a workout.

The original EyeToy: Kinetic combined the motion-sensing technology of EyeToy with a holistic fitness regime that really worked - and now it has a follow-up in the (perfectly toned) shape of EyeToy: Kinetic Combat. Expanding on its predecessor's aims, Kinetic Combat provides a fresh workout, this time inspired by martial arts - and the results are certainly striking.

The art of Shaolin
It's worth noting that nobody should be put off by use of the term 'combat'. While Kinetic Combat does indeed allow you to take part in simulated sparring sessions, this title focuses on much more than just that, allowing for the expansion of your health and fitness regime while teaching some of the fundamentals of martial arts. The roots of the game rest within the ancient art of Hun Gar Kung Fu, a 17th century discipline used by Shaolin monks and offered in many modern exercise classes. Hun Gar is primarily used for increasing fitness, but also includes a range of kicking, punching and movement techniques that gives a total body work out.

As with the original Kinetic, instructors Matt and Anna can be selected to help you through a one-on-one fitness programme, along with a new martial arts specific trainer, Leon. The idea is that you follow your chosen trainer's on-screen moves, matching them via a traced body outline. Your mimicry is tracked by the EyeToy Camera, allowing the game to notice if you are performing a move correctly, and provide personal feedback on your performance.

With over 200 separate Hung Gar Kung Fu moves, the routine is separated into four animal styles; dragon (a gentle introduction), tiger (strength through cardiovascular fitness), mantis (agility and balance), and phoenix (a combination of all prior lessons). Once a specific set of moves is learned, Kinetic Combat tests you via a series of mini-games like hitting on-screen sensors using your newly acquired techniques, and sparring sessions against the relevant animal opponent. Each one comprehensively gauges your skills, forcing you to duck, weave and strike your way to a better grade.

An inexhaustible trainer
Kinetic Combat is wonderfully professional, and despite its relatively serious fitness slant, plenty of fun. There's plenty of scope to enjoy it in the way that suits you best, too: Personal Trainer Mode takes you through a 16-week fitness programme, Freestyle allows for a more custom-built workout, the Quick Play mode contains a number of one-off games that can be played competitively against friends and family, offering a less goal-oriented way of getting exercise.

It works perfectly towards providing something for those looking to increase their exercise routine, or just get fit without hassle. Kinetic Combat's interactivity and feedback options provide a more personalised work out than a fitness DVD, and there's none of the irritating predictability that comes with the typical exercise video.

EyeToy: Kinetic Combat ticks all the right boxes; it's deep, fresh, involving and teaches something that's not only fun but beneficial. Who says videogames are unhealthy? This should certainly change a fair few minds - and bodies - for the better.