Is the console war over before it has even begun?
As the press conferences at E3 2013 come to an end, the main talking point of the annual video game trade show is the next-generation console war.
After a controversial reveal of their new console in May, Microsoft was first up and, having promised games, that’s exactly what they delivered. Ryse: Son of Rome, World of Tanks, Halo, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Minecraft: Xbox One Edition, Sunset Overdrive, Quantum Break… the list goes on.
Quite surprisingly, considering the push that Microsoft have given the technology, there was a distinct lack of Kinect titles and features on show – something hardcore gamers will no doubt have been thankful for.
Microsoft also announced the price and release date of the Xbox One, pricing it at £429 and revealing that it would be available to purchase in November of this year. However, the big elephant in the room was how the DRM (Digitals Rights Management) of the new console would work – something that was seemingly swept under the rug and something that may have led to their downfall.
As the anticipation for Sony’s press briefing built up, EA and Ubisoft both held their talks. The publishers announced a whole range of new titles that gamers will be playing on both the current generation of gaming and the next generation, with Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s The Division receiving high praise from gamers.
The final conference of the day (or night if you were watching in Europe) came from Sony. Had they saved the best until last? Arguably so.
There were many defining moments during Sony’s press conference, with the announcement of AAA titles that would inevitably shift consoles, but the clincher was when President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment of America, Jack Tretton said: “You can trade in games at retail, sell it to another person, lend it to a friend or keep it forever.” This was greeted by a huge applause from those who attended the conference, and those watching from home were jumping for joy.
The second kick in the teeth for Microsoft was the price. At £349, the PlayStation 4 is £80 less than the Xbox One. While Sony failed to announce a release date, many are reporting that we’ll see the new console before Christmas, putting it in direct competition with the Xbox One. Game, set and match before the consoles are even on shelves?
It was clear that Sony had listened to the negative feedback that the Xbox One received and they ticked all the correct boxes in order to appeal to their consumers. After all, they are the people that are going to be purchasing the console and the games.
What will be interesting is how Microsoft reacts to the news. Will they backtrack and give the consumers what they want? Or will they remain firm and release the Xbox One as it is? Only time will tell.