E3: PlayStation 4 console priced cheaper than Xbox One


Sony's Andrew House explains the strategy behind PlayStation 4

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Sony is set to sell the PlayStation 4 for a cheaper price than Microsoft's rival Xbox One.

The Japanese firm announced at the E3 trade show that its machine would be sold for £349 in the UK, $399 in the US and 399 euros across Europe.

It added that it would not impose restrictions on second-hand games.

Sony also unveiled what its box would look like, having previously kept the design under wraps at its February PS4 press conference.

For many in the audience at the Los Angeles event, the scale of the price difference came as the biggest shock.

Earlier in the day Microsoft had revealed its new console would cost £429 in the UK, $499 in the US and 499 euros.

"Clearly the big headline is that the PlayStation is going to be $100 less than the Xbox One when they come out in the US," Stephen Totilo, editor-in-chief of the gaming news site Kotaku, told the BBC.

"Microsoft is going to need to look again at its price or explain why it offers better value, such as the inclusion of its Kinect sensor.

View from E3

If console battles were decided by the frequency and volume of whoops and cheers from excitable gaming fanatics, then Sony has won it hands down.

The biggest of all was about price. The PS4 will cost $399 or £349, a price point which drew gasps and then cheers from the audience in Los Angeles.

Cost aside, it was Sony's stance on DRM - digital rights management - which also drew huge applause.

"PS4 will not impose any new restrictions on your use of PS4 game discs," said Jack Tretton, boss of Sony Computer Entertainment America.

It was a cheer for what his audience saw as basic right.

Unlike Microsoft, however, Sony has still to provide a launch date, indicating only that the PS4 would be released in time for the "holidays" - a reference to Christmas.

"Of course, in the short-term it may not matter too much because when new consoles launch, supply is typically limited and hardcore gamers will pay anything to snatch them up. But six months or a year later on it will make a difference and Microsoft may feel at that point that it needs to match price with Sony."

Second-hand games

Sony also sought to distinguish its games machine by announcing it would not introduce any new restrictions on pre-owned disc-based games bought from friends or retailers, nor would it require users to regularly authenticate their machines via the internet to allow games to continue being played.

By contrast, Microsoft has introduced limitations on who consumers can buy second-hand titles from and has introduced a requirement to connect to the net once every 24-hours to play games on the Xbox One.

"With Sony continually pushing their gaming credentials and the development of the PlayStation brand for gamers throughout their presentation - it has very publicly slapped Microsoft across the face," said Alex Simmons, UK Editor-in-Chief of news site IGN.com.

"Talk of restrictions on the sale of pre-owned games and a requirement for an internet connection have been two of the largest consumer concerns surrounding the next-generation consoles."

'Pole position'

Sony's gaming division accounted for $7.5bn (£4.8bn) worth of sales in its last financial year, representing just under 10% of its total revenues.

The PS4's predecessor, the PlayStation 3, beat the Xbox 360 in terms of global shipments but was in turn outsold by Nintendo's Wii, according to market research firm IDC.

The Order: 1886 London-based The Order: 1886 was among the exclusive PS4 games revealed at E3

However, the Wii U - which launched in November - has failed to meet its sales projections, something Nintendo has blamed on delays to games releases.

"It's a big opening, the Wii U hasn't performed up to Nintendo's expectations or that of the broader industry" IDC's gaming analyst Lewis Ward told the BBC.

"You only get about once a decade to reset expectations around what a platform will be, and therefore the launch of the PS4 has the potential to move Sony back into the pole position it was at with the PS2."

New games

Sony said that 140 PS4 games were in development, 100 of which should be released within its first year.

Among the titles that will be exclusive to the PS4 which had not previously been revealed was The Order: 1886, a steampunk-styled shooter set in the 19th century.

In addition, Square Enix announced that it was bringing Kingdom Hearts 3 - a role-playing game involving locations and characters from Disney cartoons - to the platform.

Sony said it also wished to make the PS4 the most "open and inclusive" platform to independent developers and highlighted a range of titles from the sector including a remake of 1997's Oddworld.

One expert suggested this was a deliberate effort to take advantage of the fact several small studios had complained of experiencing problems when trying to release titles onto the Xbox.

Sony E3 press conference Sony spent time to spotlight titles from small independent developers

"While Microsoft has found itself incurring the wrath of many indie developers, Sony has taken the opportunity to reach out to the sector earning it access to great games and also a great deal of goodwill," said Christopher Grant, editor-in-chief of games news site Polygon.

"But while Sony says that it allows 'self publishing', it's not the kind of open market we might think of when we hear the term in association with smartphone platforms like iOS or Android."

Vita lives on

In addition to the PS4 news, Sony also talked up the PS Vita.

It has previously acknowledged that sales of the handheld console had fallen behind expectations.

But at E3 it stressed the machine was "just beginning its life cycle".

It said that 85 titles were coming to the platform this year including Batman Arkham Origins, Killzone Mercenary and a new episode in Telltale Games' The Walking Dead series.

It also described the Vita as "the ultimate companion device" to the PS4 since the handheld can stream the bigger machine's titles.

Console competition
Infamous Second Son Sony showed off new footage from the latest game in its Infamous franchise at the event

Despite the PS4's price advantage, one observer at E3 said it was too soon to assume it would outsell the Xbox One.

"You don't get the Kinect with the PS4 - Sony's Eye camera isn't as powerful and may be sold separately - so Microsoft can push the fact its sensor is worth the extra £80," said Stuart Miles, founder of the Pocket-lint gadget review site.

"The other thing is that the Xbox One games line-up seems to be stronger at launch.

"A lot of the games announced at Sony's event have been given a 2014 date and its Gaikai cloud streaming service won't start offering PS3 titles to the new console until next year as well."

Read more of the BBC's E3 coverage.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 734.

    What seems to be not mentioned is the fact that the PS4 has better hardware specs as well (PS4 RAM is GDDR5 compared to XBone DDR3). Okay it's how you use the technology that makes the difference. So PS4 is more powerful, cheaper, and less restrictive, and people are still considering the XB!

  • rate this

    Comment number 733.

    Microsoft have really shot themselves in the foot this time. By introducing DRM to their console they have really upset a huge proportion of their userbase. Sony must be delighted.

  • rate this

    Comment number 732.

    Worth noting that if MS stick with the 2ndhand game policy AND they pass some of the resale profits onto the game makers, then the XBox becomes a much more profitable console to make games for, why invest extra millions to produce a game costing £50 for PS4 when you might get £100+ for the XBox version over several months due to multiple resales? Not good for gamers, but money talks.

  • rate this

    Comment number 731.


    Your point makes no sense what so ever, You will get immature rude online gamers regardless of what format you play on and age has nothing to do with it. I have come across people in their late 20s early 30s who are idiots in these games.

    Killing second hand market does not stop that nor will it ever.

  • rate this

    Comment number 730.

    Just watched a preview of some of the PS4 games, very underwhelmed, exactly the same kind of games as the PS3 just better graphics, I expect the same can be said about the XBox 1, as with the COD franchise, basically, same game different skin. XBox gets my vote cos of the extra entertainment features and the extra possibilities with the Kinect which haven't begun to be explored, just lose the DRM

  • rate this

    Comment number 729.

    399 euros = 339.7 gdp 399 dollars 254.46 gdp
    why do we in the UK have to pay more?
    Ill tell you why its rip off britain the worlds biggest mug!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 728.

    Gamers, Sony have issued detailed and complex instructions on their game lending policy:


  • rate this

    Comment number 727.

    Wide-ranging comments but if the XBOX One offers superior games and console performance at launch then many of the concerns about price, second-hand games etc. will quickly be forgotten. The best overall package will win through.

    That said, on first impressions I'll plump for the PS4.

  • rate this

    Comment number 726.

    To those arguing about console wars you're adults. Buy what you want and have fun. If you don't want to pick you could even get both! Isn't that what gaming is about in the end? Just having fun and enjoying what little free time we have?

  • rate this

    Comment number 725.

    I would be happy to buy a console that had locked games to it however I would expect to pay £25 - £30 max for a game I had to keep forever if these games were locked I would expect much greater support updates and extra downloads for the makers for longer than the year before the next hashed version came out

  • rate this

    Comment number 724.

    @287: You're not looking properly. There is some wonderful stuff out there if you look past the brown & grey worlds

    I personally didn't really care either way for the pre owned thing (I'm used to it on PC) as long as it leads to cheaper games (like PC) but this is unlikely.

    But the online "check in" was unacceptable. This is something that is not even acceptable on PC - See the recent Sim City.

  • rate this

    Comment number 723.

    @698. AndyC555
    Well said, but, and it is a big but these days, many many people don't share that view point, Good luck to them, I will, like you, stick to real games with real people.
    Neither console is able to play your current library, both companies don't want you changing the hardware, and MS want to force you to remain connected and stop you sharing games...

  • rate this

    Comment number 722.

    I switched to the PS3 years ago because there is no fee to be on-line with a PS and I play a lot on-line.

    I have been tempted to switch back recently as the 360 is a better console imho but I will wait to see if the XB1 has parental controls. I have young children who use the PS3 (I can restrict on-line access). Will XB1 have this functionality if permanently on-line?

    If not, hello PS4

  • rate this

    Comment number 721.

    Factor in the additional £35 per year to pay for Xbox Live and Sony must be laughing.
    I'm currently a (big) 360 user, but today's announcement is the first time I've contemplated switching to Sony and with also the 2nd hand gaming restriction I cannot see how Microsoft are going to keep me.

  • rate this

    Comment number 720.

    er, its not the price. The fact you can share games and don't need to be always hooked up to the internet are two things which mean the PS4 is miles and miles better than the xbox. When you move home you can expect 2 weeks or more without phone or internet - and therefore your xbox is an expensive doorstop

  • rate this

    Comment number 719.

    Why is backwards compatability even an issue? Are people throwing out thier PS3 and 360's immediately on upgrading? All you have to do is switch hdmi cables.

  • rate this

    Comment number 718.

    @ #699 Tommy;

    Rubbish sir! I am 39 & have been a constant gamer for 34 of those years. The internet is awash with underage, puerile, obscentity-slanging, high-pitch singing kids who are half the age of the certificate. Poor parenting using a games system as babysitter!

    The XBone is streets ahead of the PS4; selling used games on is an inconsequential detail for me & players on myfriends list

  • rate this

    Comment number 717.

    People will be a lot more selective in what they buy due to the used game policy. Greedy corporate nature has allowed a constant stream of poor games to accompany worthy titles; a rotten culture has arisen where you can buy games nilly-willy & trade them back in the same week for full value. It harms good devs & rewards bad ones. Now good devs get more revenue & we will be more wary of poor devs.

  • rate this

    Comment number 716.

    At the moment, we don't have a lot of spare cash for buying such luxuries as consoles and games, and we still use an old Playstation 2. If it wasn't for the used game market, we'd very rarely be able to get anything different to play. When we are in a position to upgrade to a new console, there's no doubt that it would be to a PS4 for the very same reason.

  • rate this

    Comment number 715.

    The complete lack of "real" backwards compatibility at launch for the first time makes buying either console nothing to do with loyalty. To me it looks likely that the XB1 will be available first, and that will define a good part of the early generation, as it has in the past. If Microsoft stuck the ol' Rosetta code from Apple's OSX in there to run Xbox 360 games, they'd win.


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