Microsoft and Sony did not wait long to take out the heavy guns at the E3 trade show in Los Angeles. Both tech giants finally revealed pricing details for their upcoming next-generation consoles, the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4.
The next-gen consoles pricing was unveiled at the companies’ E3 press conferences, along with their respective game line-ups and more technical details about the new platforms. And it appears that Sony can claim victory in this initial showdown, as the PlayStation 4 is already two points ahead of the Xbox One: it will be cheaper and will allow gamers to play older titles.
Let’s take a closer look at the main details announced for each of the two consoles.
Microsoft’s new console will cost $499 when it launches in November. It is already available on Amazon for pre-ordering. The price is rather steep but Microsoft hopes that the console’s additional capabilities, in particular its home entertainment functions, will give it the edge. Xbox 360 had a launch price of $399 back in 2005.
But these extra capabilities may not be enough to justify the price. Many gamers are upset with Xbox One restrictions on used games and the always-on requirement. Ahead of the E3, Microsoft explained that the console would not necessarily have to be always online, but would nonetheless have to connect to the Internet every 24 hours. Users will be able to trade Microsoft games, but not those from other publishers, unless said publishers give their approval.
A large part of the E3 conference was dedicated to the new games that will accompany the console. Microsoft released an impressive batch of trailers and gameplay footage for some of its most anticipated titles: Minecraft, DeadRising 3, Metal Gear Solid V, Battlefield 4, Forza 5, along with non-sequel games such as Sunset Overdrive, Rise, Titanfall and Project Spark. A new version of popular FPS Halo will be out next year.
Sony unveiled the design of the PS4 for the first time after the next-gen console was announced back in February. The platform will be cheaper than Xbox One, with a $399 price tag. An official release date has not yet been confirmed, but the console is expected to be launched this holiday season. If PS4 goes on sale in November as well, it will be the first time rivals Sony and Microsoft launch their new consoles simultaneously.
The pricing was a big surprise and the announcement was greeted with cheers and whoops by the E3 conference audience. Sony also scored another point when it reiterated that it would impose no restrictions on second-hand games and would not require the consoles to be regularly authenticated online.
Sony also announced an impressive line-up of 140 new titles for the PS4, 100 of which will be released in the first 12 months after launch. Among the new titles are The Order: 1886, Kingdom Hearts 3, a remake of 1997 title Oddworld, DriveClub, Infamous: Second Son, Killzone: Shadow Fall and others.
Although Sony seems to have taken the lead for now, it is yet too early to tell if this will still be the case when the two consoles go on sale this year. What do you think will happen? Will Sony’s price tag and no-restriction policy take it to pole position? Or will Xbox One’s unique capabilities prevail? Let us know in the comments below.
[Image via extremetech]