E3 06: EyeToy Sports Impressions

101 minigames are promised for the latest in the interactive camera series. We pull on our sports kit at E3 and check out what the game has to offer.

LOS ANGELES--The EyeToy series is famous for allowing players to use their bodies as the controller, and Sports is the first in the series to be devised solely of minigames. Designed with 101 games that take 45 to 60 seconds each, the game is based on popular sports such as basketball and tennis but also minority sports such as ostrich racing.

Fitting in with the team aspects of many sports, the game will support up to eight players across every single minigame. There is a story mode of sorts to take part in, with a series of events that will link the games together. Single-player games will involve getting the highest scores on each of the games, but the multiplayer games look set to be Sports' main attraction. In multiplayer, some of the games are played cooperatively, some in turns, and some against the computer.

The traditional sports make up around 70 of those on offer and include football (soccer), basketball, baseball, winter sports, water sports, and motor sports. The other games feature only a loose association with any form of sport, with the eating competition minigame stretching the classification of a sport to breaking point.

One of the criticisms levelled at EyeToy games in the past has been the lack of minigames, which could make the "Play" games feel a little bit repetitive. Because the focus is on minigames, we hope that Sports will offer more variety without sacrificing depth. We'll have more on the game as it approaches its release.

The game is currently scheduled for a November 2006 release in PAL territories but will not be released in the US until after EyeToy: Play 3 is released.

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