Along with the PlayStation 5 itself, Sony also announced a slew of PS5 peripherals when the machine was revealed last year. There was the Pulse 3D headset, which would bring 3D audio even to setups that didn’t natively accommodate it. The DualSense controller needs no introduction; it’s the part of the PS5 that arguably makes the console feel the most “next-gen”. However, one peripheral that may have been under-discussed since the PS5 launch is the PS5 camera.
What exactly is the PS5 camera? Well, as you might expect, it’s a camera peripheral that’s compatible with the PS5. You can rest it on top of your display – whether that’s a TV, a PC monitor, or any other kind of screen – and it’ll broadcast in 1080p at a maximum of 60fps, although you can change that setting based on your own preferences. So, what’s the niche for the PS5 camera? Who should buy this peripheral, and who should leave well alone?
The first thing to note here is that if you’re a PS5 lover and you’re also a streamer – especially if you’re one who likes to show their face while gaming – then the PS5 camera peripheral is an absolute must-buy. The PS5 doesn’t support standard USB webcam peripherals, so if you want to show your face, you’ll need either the PS4’s camera or the new HD camera. This means that PS5 streamers absolutely should buy the PS5 camera, no questions asked.
If you’re not a streamer, and you don’t have any desire to show your face at all during your gaming sessions, then the camera is safe to avoid. It doesn’t offer any functionality beyond this; there aren’t really any PS5 games that benefit from it or take advantage of it, so if you were hoping for an old-school EyeToy-style experience with the PS5’s new camera peripheral, you’re going to have to wait a little longer. This really is an inessential purchase for the average gamer.
Let’s walk through what features the PS5 camera does have for streamers. It’s got an impressive background removal feature that highlights your face and removes detail behind you, meaning you can integrate yourself (relatively) seamlessly into any game you’re playing. Of course, the image quality is going to differ between the camera and the game, but you can put your face front and centre without disrupting gameplay for potential viewers.
The camera also comes with a stand that you can adjust, meaning that it doesn’t actually matter where you place it around your display. Most will opt to rest the camera on top of the TV, but if that’s inconvenient for you for whatever reason, the adjustable stand supports being mounted beneath the display as well. The PS5 camera uses a clamp-style design so it fits pretty much wherever you want to put it; just find the right angle for you and you’re away.
Of course, being as the PS5 camera is an official Sony peripheral, it also integrates extremely well with the PS5’s core functionality. You can use the DualSense’s Create button to instantly share screenshots or videos of yourself that you’ve taken with the camera. These clips can be edited just like anything else from the Create window, too, so you can add fun effects or edits to them before you send them to your friends or upload them to social media.
Another group of people who probably shouldn’t worry too much about picking up the PS5 camera at this stage is VR players. The PS5 camera is not compatible with VR at the moment, so if you want to play PSVR, you’ll still need the PS4’s camera peripheral. You can, however, request an adaptor from Sony to help you make this transition more smoothly. Still, if you want to play PSVR and use your HD camera, you’re out of luck, at least for the time being.
If you’re a Sony completionist, however, you’ll definitely want to give the camera a look. It’s a good-quality camera – it won’t beat the best USB webcams available on the market, but since they aren’t compatible with the PS5, it’s absolutely the best option available to you if you need a camera for your machine. It is, at the very least, much better than its PS4 predecessor, largely because of the dual lenses and increased resolution. As is the case with most PS5 peripherals, the official Sony ones are much higher-quality than their alternatives.
In many ways, the PS5 camera is a somewhat strange option for Sony to launch immediately. It makes sense given the company’s approach when it comes to streamers; since Sony wants to court the content creator crowd, giving them a camera option to help them immediately begin streaming on PS5 is a great way to get them on-side. However, it does also mean that if you’re not a PS5 content creator and you don’t intend to become one anytime soon, then the PS5 camera is an inessential purchase for the time being.
Have you picked up a PS5 camera? What sort of games would you like to see utilise the camera tech? If you don’t have a camera yet, what do you think would convince you to take the plunge and pick one up? Let us know!