This year’s E3 electronics show in LA was the backdrop for the latest round in the upcoming next-gen console wars, with Sony’s PS4 getting the best critical reception for placing less restrictions (and a cheaper price tag) on its device than its Xbox rival.
Watch this E3 highlight video from Rev3 Games showing the key moments of the PS4 event:
Watch this E3 highlight video from TechRadar showing the key moments of the Xbox One event:
Unlike Microsoft’s new console, PlayStation 4 games will not require the user to connect to the internet once every 24 hours in order to remain playable.
PS4 users can also freely trade discs "forever"- another advantage over the Xbox One’s DRM protected discs that mean users can only give games to people who have been on their friends list for 30 days, and each game can only be given away in this fashion once.
The Xbox One placed emphasis on ‘normal families’ over hardcore gamers, with emphasis on TV features, Kinect controls and sports content.
Meanwhile Sony boasted that there were more than 140 games in development for the PS4, along with a ‘self-publishing’ platform for small, independent developers via the existing PlayStation Network.
Sony has confirmed that players will need a PlayStation Plus subscription to play online with the PS4, a service that usually costs $49.99 a year. In comparison, Xbox Live costs $59.99 a year, and is already mandatory for online play.
Price tag: £349 PS4 vs £429 Xbox One
At E3, Sony cmpany president Andrew House showed off the PlayStation 4, revealing it will sell for $399 (£256) - $100 less on the price tag - than the Xbox One.
The console will hit the shops by the end of the year, shortly after Xbox One's autumn release, costing £349 in the UK, $399 in the US and €399 across Europe.
House said: "The gaming landscape is changing with new business models and new ways to play."
The Japanese company announced the new PlayStation in February but waited until Monday to unveil the black cuboid machine, not dissimilar to the Xbox One.
The crowd applauded when Jack Tretton, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America, said the device would not restrict used game sales – a potential requirement of the Xbox One which has caused fan anger.
Tretton also said: "If you enjoy playing single-player games offline, PS4 won't require to you check in online period and it won't stop working if you haven't authenticated in 24 hours," a direct challenge to the Xbox, which needs to be online once a day.
Sony even issued a cheeky 'Official PlayStation Used Game Instructional Video' on YouTube showing how simple it is to swap games compared to XBox One. the video featured the firms' President Shuhei Yoshida handing his game disc to publishing boss Adam Boyes. The video was wtached over 14 million times (view the tweet below).
Speaking to the BBC, Stephen Totilo, editor-in-chief of the gaming news site Kotaku, said: "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. 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."