Eyepet, to put it simply, is Sony's latest game supporting the Playstation Eye. In essence, it's a pet simulator, though on the Playstation 3 it's a bit more in depth than most of what you've probably seen.
What you see on the screen, is you. Your TV shows what the Playstation Eye sees, which is pointed back at you. The game will add in certain "special effects" to the screen (like the pet itself) based on visual cues. To summon the Eyepet, you put a special card on the floor and tap it. Suddenly, on the screen, the Eyepet appears on the card.
Interacting with the pet by watching yourself in what is effectively a mirror seems like it could be a bit awkward, but the demo at least seemed to be functional. Reaching out to "pet" the Eyepet produces a positive reaction from the virtual pet, as it leans into and rubs up against the image of your hand on the screen. You can also dangle a string and have the Eyepet jump up at it, or trail it along the floor to have the pet chase it across the screen.
But just playing with a virtual pet with real world objects wouldn't be very much fun, would it? You can also use the card to summon up a menu, waving at the camera to select different options in a manner that seemed spookily similar to what Microsoft showed off for their Natal interface. One of the toys that could be brought into the virtual world was a bubble machine, which produced virtual bubbles for your virtual pet to chase after and pop. Another turned the card into a trampoline for your pet to play on, requiring the player to move the card/trampoline underneath the pet as it jumped in the air in order to keep it aloft.
If your Eyepet seems unhappy, you can turn the card into a virtual x-ray machine to diagnose it, and see if it wants food or playtime or something else entirely. There's also some minigames you can play with the pet, including having it fly around in a small airplane and popping balloons. The cool part about this minigame, was that you can actually draw the parts of the airplane on a piece of paper and let the Playstation Eye scan it in. Then the Eyepet reproduces the drawing and puts the plane together itself.
Of course, no simulator game would be complete these days without tons of customization options. There are supposed to be over 250 outfits in the game, unlockable by completing certain challenges. In addition, you can change your Eyepet's fur color (either bits at a time in a paint mode or all at once), add some textures to the fur, and change its length at any point. What you can't change is the Eyepet's general structure and facial appearance - but it's pretty cute as it is.
I'd need to spend a good chunk of time actually playing the game to really get a handle on how well it works and how long the entertainment would actually last, but Eyepet seems like an interesting concept that should appeal to the virtual pet/simulator crowd. Eyepet will be released for the Playstation 3 in Europe in October 2009, with an American release likely early next year.
Since the game is rather hard to describe, you can find out more by watching the E3 trailer here: