By David Wilkins.
New details on Sony’s PlayStation 4 have come pouring out of LA as Sony held their first press conference of E3 2013.
To open with we now have an official image of what the console actually looks like. According to Sony some of the subtle details could still change on the device but the general look will remain the same as pictured below.
Sony’s new console will also require no online check-in, while used-titles will function perfectly without restriction. Two very important points as the online check-in controversy still surrounds the Xbox One, which will require gamers to log-in online once every 24 hours in order to access their games. Microsoft also announced last week that used-games could be blocked at the discretion of developers. Sony took full advantage of this, going as far as supplying a very educational ‘instructional guide’ video on how to share PS4 titles among friends.
While consumer rights has no doubt given Sony great momentum in this generation’s console race, it was to very little surprise in the industry that Sony also admitted that to play their titles online, users would now have to sign up to a PlayStation Plus subscription. Currently these subscriptions cost $50 a year, although this is likely to change as the new console’s release date approaches.
The PlayStation 4 will contain a 500GB hard drive. This large amount of disc space is due in part to the growing prevalence digital sales, but also the necessity for users to install games on the hard drive, much like a PC. This technique will also be used by the Xbox One, itself supplying an identical hard drive capacity. As of yet external HDD support has not announced or discredited. This article will be updated as information is released.
With the high-price of Sony’s previous console initially hampering sales performance quite badly, it appears lessons have been learned this time around. With the PlayStation 4 being announced for £349/$399/€399. This by comparison is £80 or $100 cheaper than the Xbox One, which will also launch later this year, only with a price of £429/$499/€499.
It should however be noted that all Xbox One systems will also ship with a Kinnect. Something Microsoft is keen to push going forward into the future of gaming. On the other hand Sony’s equivalent, the PlayStation Eye, will be sold separately and cost an additional $60. DualShock 4 controllers will also cost $60 according to their next-gen pricing scheme.
Despite the introduction of the PlayStation Plus subscription, gamers remain heavily invested in the Sony console. In this sense Microsoft has done them a favour as the Xbox Live membership has desensitised the market to this sort of pricing model.
Microsoft meanwhile must now think hard in how to convince consumers they are offering the system of the generation in the Xbox One. Despite announcing a host of exclusive titles, the higher pricing and policy on consumer rights are likely to take their toll.
Having said that, this is only the start of the E3 conference and with a holiday 2013 release date for both consoles; there is plenty of time for Microsoft to fight back against Sony… or finish themselves off.