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Last Updated: Monday, 15 May 2006, 07:24 GMT 08:24 UK
PlayStation 3 rethinks card games
By Alfred Hermida
Technology editor, BBC News website in Los Angeles

Eye of Judgement card game
The cards are placed on a three-by-three board
Sony is re-imagining the way we play old-fashioned card games with one title for the forthcoming PlayStation 3 (PS3) games console.

Called The Eye of Judgement, the game uses real cards which, thanks to a camera on the console, come to life as mythical creatures on screen.

Sony demonstrated the game at last week's E3 games expo in Los Angeles.

The game forms part of the line-up of titles for the new console which is due to go on sale in November.

Strategic decisions

The Eye of Judgement takes the idea of top trumps into the world of augmented reality.

It uses physical cards which are placed in turn by players on a three-by-three grid.

A camera attached to the PS3 reads a hidden code on the cards to produce a character or monster on screen, each one of which has its own special powers.

Screenshot of Eye of Judgement game
Fantasy creatures come to life in the game
The aim of the game is to take control of the board, using the monsters to win over an enemy square.

"In traditional card games, this battle took place in a player's mind. It was not very visual," said Kazuhito Miyaki, executive producer of the game.

"With this card game, what used to take place in a player's mind is visualised."

Each of the entities on the cards has special offensive or defensive powers, forcing players to think strategically about which one they use.

"It has very simple rules," said Mr Miyaki. "By using different cards, the game itself is very deep."

Players will be able to play against the computer or against each other over the internet.

Work in progress

The prototype of the game was unveiled at E3, where Sony presented a raft of games for its forthcoming PS3.

The console is due out in November, costing $499 (499 euros) for the basic model and $599 (599 euros) for a fully featured system.

The team at Sony's Japan Studios are still working out details of the game, such as how the online element will work and how to stop players cheating.

The Eye of Judgement was one of the more unusual titles for the PS3 on show at E3, but some are unsure about whether it will appeal to gamers.

"The question is whether it will translate well to the home," said Margaret Robertson, editor of games magazine Edge.

"I am not sure about a strategy game based on a three-by-three grid."


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