New EyeToy games spied

Konami joins Bandai as third-party publisher of party games that use the PS2 peripheral.


TOKYO--Today, Sony Computer Entertainment announced a number of new EyeToy titles that are scheduled for release in the upcoming months.

First up will be the new all-ages Saru EyeToy, which features the madcap monkeys from the Ape Escape action game series. (The title translates to "Ape EyeToy" in English.) Saru EyeToy will be a board game where players can advance by moving their hands in front of the EyeToy camera and then spinning a roulette-style wheel. Depending on where they land, players will play one of the 30 minigames against two-to-four friends or against the computer. The minigames include a contest where players have to finish eating a banana inside a classroom while the teacher isn't looking. There's also a contest that involves players fixing up a wig-wearing ape's hairstyle by using their hands. Additionally, there's a competition where players need to pick up a dumbbell that gradually gets heavier as time progresses. Only one EyeToy camera will be required to play, even with multiple people. Saru EyeToy is scheduled for release on August 5 in Japan. No retail price has been announced yet.

SCE will also release a reworked version of EyeToy Groove for the Japanese market. Called EyeToy FuriFuri Dance Tengoku, the game makes players boogie to songs by rhythmically touching areas on the screen. The game will include J-pop selections, anime songs, like the DragonBall Z theme, and English-language hits, such as Kool and the Gang's "Jungle Boogie" and the Village People's "YMCA" (which are both featured on EyeToy Groove). The game will also let players choreograph their own dance arrangements. EyeToy FuriFuri Dance Tengoku is scheduled for release on June 24 in Japan at the retail price of 4,500 yen ($41) by itself, or, if bundled with the EyeToy camera, it will go for 6,980 yen ($64).

Konami will be releasing a party-oriented sports game, titled EyeToy Sports, on July 15. Following Bandai, this will make Konami the second company to release an EyeToy title as a third-party publisher. No details on EyeToy Sports or its retail price have been announced.

Bandai reconfirmed that it will be releasing the party game Kaiketsu Zorori: Mezase! Itazura King. Based on the children's cartoon of the same name, Kaiketsu Zorori's gameplay will consist of trying to get the highest score by playing pranks on friends using nine different "mischief" techniques. The title is scheduled for release in Japan on April 28 at the retail price of 4,200 yen ($39) solo or 6,980 yen ($64) for a package that comes with the EyeToy camera.

In related news, SCE also confirmed the Japanese release of MLB 2004, which uses the EyeToy camera to import the gamer's face onto the created player's face, on May 27 for the retail price of 5,800 yen ($53). Electronic Arts' Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, scheduled for release in Japan on June 26, will also make use of the EyeToy camera.

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