Sony reportedly nixed PS4 Eye bundle at 11th hour to cut price

A new report claims Sony originally aimed to pack its Eye camera with the PlayStation 4, but nixed it at the last minute to beat Microsoft on price.

The PlayStation 4 Eye camera.
The PlayStation 4 Eye camera. Sony Computer Entertainment

Sony may have called an audible on the robotic eyeball accessory of its upcoming PlayStation 4 console, according to a new report.

Citing sources, IGN says Sony originally intended to include the $59 camera accessory inside a $499 launch system bundle, but changed plans at the last moment by removing it in favor of trimming everything down to $399. All to beat out Microsoft's Xbox One and its mandatory Kinect accessory with its $499 price tag, IGN's sources said.

Sony did not respond to a CNET request for comment on the report. We will update this story when we have more information.

The price, and lack of a camera in Sony's PlayStation 4 bundle is one of the big differentiators between the two next-generation gaming machines, which go on sale later this year -- likely in November. The two will have exclusive games, but like in previous generations, also feature many similar games from third-party software makers.

In Sony's case, not bundling the PlayStation Eye could spell doom for developer support, IGN points out. Considering developers won't be required to support it, or be assured that users will have it, there's less incentive to tailor games to it -- something that stymied camera integration in the last generation. By comparison, Microsoft bundling the Kinect and requiring its use at a system level means all users will have one out of the box.

The PlayStation Eye and its rival Kinect from Microsoft are just the latest in a series of cameras from the two gaming giants, and more advanced than previous models. Both systems expand on the last generation by tracking controller location, which in Sony's case makes use of a light bar on the top of the DualShock 4 controller.

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