In order to kick things off for the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) conference in California this week, video game giants Sony and Microsoft have announced more details about their upcoming, next-generation consoles, the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, respectively. While Microsoft’s system was first shown off last month, Monday night’s expose from Sony provided the first look at the PS4 hardware, along with peeks at a large selection of new games, and the announcement that it will launch this fall for a price of $399 in the U.S.
Earlier in the day, Microsoft confirmed that the Xbox One will be available in the U.S. this November, priced at $499. This is a significant increase over their Sony rivals, no doubt due to the fact that the Xbox will include the Kinect sensor, a motion-tracking and voice-detecting camera that allows users to control the console with voice commands, among a number of other hands-free inputs. But where Sony really pleased the crowds and stole the show was in its detailing of the PS4 easily allowing players to buy, sell, and play used games, something Microsoft has designed the Xbox One to not allow.
Those who purchase Microsofts’s console will be required to install their games on the system, and have it tied to their Xbox Live account. Even if the game disc is sold or given to a friend, once the recipient puts it in their system, they will be prompted to pay a fee in order to play. This system is centered on the fact an internet connection is required for the Xbox One to “check-in,” so to speak, once every 24 hours with Microsoft for verification. Sony made it clear that it is doing the opposite of all that, not requiring PS4 games to be tied to a specific console or user, and allowing them to be sold or traded just as with the current game systems. Likewise, at no time will the PS4 require an internet connection.
While Sony did bring up Europe in its announcement, stating that the PS4 would cost 399 euros, and 349 pounds in the U.K., prices that are painfully higher than the U.S., converting to roughly 530 to 540 US dollars, there was no mention of a Japanese release. Game console launches in Japan and North America often coincide, or at least take place within a few weeks of each other, and a 399 US dollar price would be equal to around 40,000 yen, assuming Sony goes with an even exchange, but for now, it appears that Japanese gamers are still left with number of questions when it comes to the PlayStation 4.