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Sony hopes to expand the PS4's Playroom tech demo by launch

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Part tech demo, part video game toy box, The Playroom for the PlayStation 4 and its HD camera continues to evolve, but its ultimate fate remains undetermined, Sony officials tell Polygon.

The collection of tech demos was originally designed by a collaborative effort between Sony hardware and software developers as a way to explain some of the PS4's unique new controls.

The bundle of games shows off the PS4's camera and how it interacts with the controller, its touch pad interface and speaker. Demos include a touch-controlled, motion-sensitive version of Pong and interactive augmented reality robots.

"Conceptionally it follows the DNA of (the PS Vita's) Welcome Park," said Tsubasa Inaba, senior producer at SCEA, while showing off the demo during an event in New York this week. "That's actually the perfect example. Our R&D teams for hardware and our software teams worked to put that application together. It was a very similar situation for this one."

But the initial plan for The Playroom didn't include releasing it to gamers. It wasn't until the overwhelmingly positive reaction at E3 that Sony started reexamining what they might do with the collection of demos.

Inaba said that following the E3 showing, other internal Sony developers started to consider how they could create something for the collection. While there's no promise that this new developer interest will lead to new in-game experiences, that's the hope, said Inaba.

Ideally, he said, any additions to The Playroom would be ready in time for launch, though if they're not they could always be added post-launch. Which raises the question: Will this be an experience that comes installed on the PlayStation 4?

"Perhaps," Inaba said. "We hope to have a more definitive answer to that question in the next month or two."