EyeToy: Chat will be the next title to utilize Sony's popular webcam, the company announced this afternoon, with the London Studios-developed online title set to introduce "a whole new world of communication" to gamers living rooms when it hits the shelves later this summer.
Similar in principle to most modern PC messaging applications, 'EyeToy: Chat' "offers a brand new way to use your PlayStation 2" according to Sony, in allowing PS2 owners to turn their PlayStation 2s into a videophone "giving you the opportunity to communicate with other 'EyeToy: Chat' users anywhere in the world completely free".
EyeToy: Chat offers text, voice, video mail and one to one video chat, with 'text chat' rooms allowing 256 people to talk together, while 16 people can converse at one time in the 'voice chat' rooms. Sony neglected to mention how many people you can talk to simultaneously in Video chat, but you can send video mail messages up to 30 seconds long to those on your buddy list.
Three games are also thrown in: Chess, Draughts and 'Naval War', which will no doubt have gamers palpitating at the prospect. Sony hasn't confirmed a price as yet, but we suspect it will be around the £20 mark.
To ward off potential paedophile issues, Sony has been careful to stress that it has "worked very closely with several children's charities to ensure that 'EyeToy: Chat' is safe as possible to use for even the youngest members of the family".
"New 'EyeToy: Chat' users will be required to register their details online at PlayStation Net; they will then need to verify their details by inputting the PIN number sent to their address. With strict safety measures in place, chat room moderators and' clear processes for grievances, 'EyeToy: Chat' is one of the safest communication packages available on any system on the market," said the accompanying blurb.
Permission to 'meh'.