Microsoft, Sony Face Off in the Battle for the Living Room
NEWS ANALYSIS: Retail pricing and used games emerge as a new front in the long-brewing rivalry between Microsoft and Sony.Sony had a tough act to follow. After teasing its next-gen video console on Feb. 20, the Japanese electronics giant finally unveiled the PlayStation 4 on June 10, just hours after Microsoft hosted a games-focused media event packed with blockbuster franchises and highly anticipated titles for the Xbox One. Despite some lulls and a lack of big budget props like the exotic McLaren sports car that Microsoft raised onto the stage, Sony delivered a couple of bombshells at the E3 video game show that resonated loudly not only among the PlayStation faithful, but also the industry at large. Sony announced that PlayStation 4 will cost $399 when it launches later this year, undercutting the Xbox One at retail by $100. The Xbox One will cost $499 when it hits store shelves in November. It bears noting that the Xbox One includes a Kinect sensor as standard equipment. Outfitting Sony's video game console with the PlayStation Eye camera will cost an extra $59, narrowing the price disparity between both devices. Nonetheless, Sony scored points with its pricing strategy, according to The Verge's Sam Byford.
"We already knew that the PS4 edged the One on power, so for Sony to undercut Microsoft by a full $100 at launch is a shocking and impressive move for the Japanese giant," wrote Byford. Xbox One's Kinect-enabled features may not have the same appeal as jumping into next-generation gaming for $100 less. Byford argues that the Kinect's impact "on the gaming experience is questionable; it's also unclear whether it will hold much appeal for those same consumers willing to pay $499."