Skip to main content

Microsoft and Sony Go Head-to-head at E3

Outside of Apple's WWDC announcements today, Microsoft and Sony faced off in the console marketplace with announcements of games, features and pricing for the Xbox One and PS4.

First out of the blocks was Microsoft, who demonstrated new games and announced pricing for the third generation Xbox. The latter was unexpected, as was confirmation that Xbox will ship into 21 international markets simultaneously in November. Priced at $499 in the US, £429 in the UK and (most importantly) $749 in New Zealand, the Xbox One will include the latest Kinect in the bundle.

Microsoft also boosted its Xbox Live Gold service with the announcement of monthly free games for subscribers - two per month, starting with Halo 3 and Assassin's Creed 2 in July. There's an updated Xbox 360 too, and confirmation that the 360 will see a continued place in the Xbox line up and new games will continue to be released on the platform.

Sony's presentation included the first unveiling of its new hardware - surprisingly similar in look to the Xbox One actually - as well as the first demonstrations of its games and media capabilities. Pricing was a little lower than the Xbox - although the Eye isn't part of the bundle, making the pricing fairly close once added. I doubt anyone will be making a buying decision based on the difference in price of the two consoles.

Sony probably felt the same too, because they focused on areas where Microsoft exposed some weaknesses. PS4 games can be bought, sold and traded in exactly the same way that PS3 games are today. There's also no need for an internet connection with the PS4, so if you don't want to you need never go online.

Its going to be an interesting decision for console gamers come the holiday season, with neither console offering anything for legacy owners there's no benefit to remaining loyal to either platform. Its going to be a choice between games, media and ecosystem platforms based on what's available today.

Personally I think Microsoft just edges it with a superior platform and media handling, although Sony may be able to address that in the coming months.


Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

F1: Robert Kubica's Williams Test Asks More Questions Than It Answers

Comparing driver's times at a tyre evaluation test like last week's Abu Dhabi event is difficult at the best of times, but when trying to assess the performance of a driver who has been out of the sport for six years, that difficulty level is raised even higher.
On the face of it Robert Kubica's test for Williams was a success. Fastest of the three Williams drivers present the headlines look promising. However, taking into consideration the different tyres used to set those times muddies the water considerably.
Kubica ran a three lap qualifying simulation on the new 'hyper-soft' tyre - which should have given him a two-second advantage. Correcting for tyres it would appear that Kubica was significantly slower than Sergei Sorotkin - who was on the harder 'soft' tyre - and marginally quicker than Lance Stroll, the team's only contracted driver.

Stroll's family fortune currently funds Williams, so there' no chance that he will be anywhere but in a…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…