Sony had its work cut out for it this evening, after Microsoft’s gameplay centered E3 event. Microsoft finally showed off the games this morning and the Xbox One looked a lot better for it. Sony came out swinging with plenty of hot games of its own. But the Japanese electronics giant really delivered the body blows with its more accepting policy toward used games and its great price ($100 less than the Xbox One). Sony’s obviously learned from its early fumbles with the launch of the last generation’s PS3.
The Xbox One might be looking a lot better than it did a couple of weeks ago, but the PS4 is looking great!
The Price is Right:
Sony’s and Microsoft’s respective consoles have very comparable specs tech wise, both sporting custom 8 core x86 chipsets and 8GB DDR RAM. You might think their price point would be around the same but Sony’s set its PS4 at $399. The Xbox One is $499, so Sony’s under cutting Microsoft by $100.
The price is for the console, cables and a Dualshock 4 but no Playstation Eye (Microsoft’s Kinect is a part of the Xbox One, and there’s no console version without it). Sony’s offering a powerful console to play games on, with a controller. Of course, you can buy other peripherals if needed.
With the PS3, Sony went the “all-inclusive” route with Wi-Fi and Blu-Ray built-in. The cheaper Xbox 360 sold much better, even though gamers had to shell out for a wi-fi adapter for the original design of the console.
Sony has definitely learned from its mistakes.
The precise release date wasn’t given, but Sony plans to have it out for the Holidays.
Also, possibly in response to the gamer backlash against Microsoft’s requiring of licenses for used games, and its requirement to check them online at least once a day, Sony announced the PS4 will have no such issues. The Playstation 4 will play any used, lent, or rented games with no restrictions. It is playable offline as well, with no need to connect to continue with a game. Sorry Microsoft.
The Design Finally Revealed:
This is what the new PS4 looks like. It’s a little reminiscent of the original PS2 and it’s got the whole parallelogram thing going for it. Frankly I don’t care much what a console box looks like, but I’ll give this one to Sony too. It’s a little more stylish than Microsoft’s shiny VCR.
Sony revealed a lot of exciting new game titles at its big reveal last February. A lot of these were given a more in-depth look at its E3 event. Also a few surprises were trotted out. Sony said there will be 12 entirely new games made for the PlayStation 4. We saw some new footage of Watch Dogs and Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag from Ubisoft. Sony Showed off a new Killzone, Infamous: Second Son and several other titles.
A few games worth pointing out were:
The Order: 1866. A Steampunk thriller
The Knack. A stylized, wacky new platformer
Destiny. Bungie’s excellent looking new shooter on a Sony system!
Final Fantasy XV. Finally a mention of Square’s long-awaited addition to the FF titles
Looking good, PS4!
Video and Music Services:
Sony’s focus is clearly on making this a great console for gaming but it’s got it’s some minor media center aspirations too. While Microsoft wants to take over your living room, Sony seems content to provide access to lots of streaming services and exclusive content (and a few new revenue streams) through its new console. The PS4 will offer RedBox streaming video rentals, 20 million songs streaming and downloadable, exclusive content for Playstation Network, and Live events. This is on top of all the video and content services already on the PS3.
The PS3 and Vita Get In On the Action:
The Vita’s getting a version of Batman: Arkham Origins as well as remastered God of War titles and its own Killzone!
There will be an exclusive PS3 Bundle for the new Grand Theft Auto V for $299, which will come with special GTA V headphones. Also Beyond Two Souls, The last of Us and Gran Turismo 6 were touched on.
A lot can change between now and the Holidays, but I’m calling this one for Sony. The PS4 is a better gaming machine at a better price.
I’m not saying Microsoft blew it here. The Xbox One is a really impressive box with a great slate of launch titles and some really interesting extra features. But the PS4 is an impressive box with a great slate of launch titles, few bundled extras and a price tag that’s $100 less.
Sony’s lack of license requirement for used games and constant internet connections are just the icing on the cake. Who wants to pay more for a console that’s not able to play used games (for free, at least)?
Sony’s learned from its stumbles during the PS3 era, and it shows.