Hey, Remember This? Vol. 1: Eyedentify

So this is the first of something that may or may not become a series of sorts. If it isn't obvious from the title, I'll try to have this series be about generally forgotten video game-related things. Of course nothing is truly forgotten, so you'll have to forgive me if I cover something not quite "obscure" enough.

Ladies...
Ladies...

Hey, remember Eyedentify? Eyedentify was announced back in E3 2005 and was going to be released for the PlayStation 3 where you personally would be the guide for two female operatives aiding them in a variety of missions. This all would've been accomplished with the use of a headset and an EyeToy. No, not a PlayStation Eye. An EyeToy. I know. Kind of weird, right? So with those two accessories you would not only give voice commands to these virtual ladies, but actually truly interact and converse with them from waving hello to laughing at one of their jokes.

Of course, this game was cancelled and never heard of again beyond the initial announcement back in 2005. I can think of two possible reasons for this:

  1. The technology didn't actually work. At all.
  2. This is actually a boring concept for a game and is not fun to play.

When you read that opening paragraph again, reason number one becomes pretty self-explanatory. But I'm going to explain it anyway. Because I can.

They wanted to have an interactive-AI game using a headset and an EyeToy. In 2005. For even further explanation, let's look at something similar that is a little more recent: Milo and Kate. A quick refresher for this title: This was going to be an Xbox 360 release for the Kinect where you would interact with a British child and his dog, maybe. This was also cancelled which may have been due to two reasons:

  1. The technology didn't oh wait I've already said this
Hey, Milo. Who do you think is the best rapper out of the Wu-Tang Clan?
Hey, Milo. Who do you think is the best rapper out of the Wu-Tang Clan?

In any case, my point here being that Milo and Kate was going to be for the Kinect. The Kinect. A pretty remarkable piece of hardware, if you ask me (though no game has actually yet to wow the world with other than some neat little sports and dance games). The 360 itself is also a nifty thing. If these two things combined couldn't handle some proper conversational AI tied with voice- and face-recognition to have something meaningful beyond just inane ramblings to a screen, then well alright I think you see where I'm getting at.

So... do you like Pikachu?
So... do you like Pikachu?

And then there's the conceptual idea for the game. Let's again look at two similar titles, this time at games that actually saw a release: Seaman and Hey You, Pikachu. While not quite an engaging experience as either Eyedentify or Milo and Kate promised, they still had the same basic idea. Were these games well-received? Well actually Seaman was sort of, but more so as a technological feat. Though in the case of Hey You, Pikachu, absolutely not. Even then neither title held the player's attention for more than a day or two, maybe a week at most. Sure, Eyedentify would've had more than just virtual interaction with its more-than-likely-scripted missions, but after that it looks like all it had left was a video conference call with the two agents where you would shoot the breeze. Would people really be willing to pay $60 for a digital companion they can talk to? I can see it being fun for about a day and then to show off to friends and family, but there's no way it'll be a long-lasting game you would want to return to. Hell, most Animal Crossing players never return to their towns after a few days of negligence and all they have is a weed-littered ghost town waiting for them.

How much do people really want to talk to these two ladies?
How much do people really want to talk to these two ladies?

Will we ever see a "virtual friend" game in the next generation? I doubt it, but I wouldn't be surprised if someone once again tried to make one and I definitely wouldn't be disappointed if the game is surprisingly a hit and everyone loves it. I'm not saying I want a game like that to come out, but this is also a scenario where I wouldn't mind being proven wrong. How about you? Would you purchase Eyedentify if it ever came out? And this is "purchase", not "play". I'm sure most any of us would play anything if given the chance. How about purchasing Milo and Kate? Any fond (or not so fond) memories of Seaman and/or Hey You, Pikachu? Please leave a comment below and let us all know. If you would like to know a little more about Eyedentify, you can check out this preview article over on Gamespot that was written by our very own Matthew Rorie. Thanks for reading.

I'm also open to constructive criticism about this feature. I isn't a very good writing person, so any advice and thoughts are more than welcome. Again, thank you for reading and I hope you'll stick around for the next time I do this.

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