Some seven hours after the Xbox media briefing ended, it was Sony’s turn to try to impress gamers with their keynote to close out Monday’s E3 action. Unlike the green brand, the PlayStation crew used their 90-minute presser to mix their game previews with some new hardware and entertainment offerings. As a result, the middle of the presser dragged a little bit relative to the Xbox one but did the rest of what was shown impress more than what Microsoft had to offer.
Back in January, we brought a story about EB Games Canada quietly raising prices on almost all of their new releases from $60 to upwards of $70 whether they were on current or last-gen consoles. Last month, Microsoft quietly announced that the price of Xbox One games would increase to $65 each. Now, Sony has announced that the price of the PS4 console in Canada will increase along with the price of games and peripherals.
In an interview on Bloomberg TV last week, Microsoft President of Interactive Entertainment, Don Mattrick, said that the Xbox One was over-delivering on value. In fact, the Xbox boss went so far as to say, “We’re delivering thousands of dollars of value to people.”
The problem is that no one apart from Mattrick, Microsoft employees and the staunchest of Xbox loyalists believe this to be the case. When you look at the dollars and cents of the next generation of consoles, it’s pretty obvious that the Xbox isn’t actually over-delivering and definitely not thousands of dollars worth of over-delivery.
Sony had one simple mission heading into their 2013 E3 press conference: Don’t screw it up! Microsoft handed Sony an absolute gift at every turn from the Xbox One’s DRM to privacy issues to used games to rentals to the price.
Not only did Sony not screw up their press conference, they committed the video game console equivalent to homicide. Sony played the Rains of Castamere live on stage and slew the Xbox One in a bloody and violent way that saw them destroy Microsoft’s next-generation challenger in every way possible. Even George R.R. Martin was shocked at the carnage.
Sure, I could sit here and wax business about what I think Sony will announce for the PlayStation 4 because it will make sense from a business perspective. And as interesting as I like analyzing the business implications of the actions of the video game industry, I love to loosen up my tie, roll up my sleeves and just game.
So rather than go through the rumour mill for the five most likely announcements that Sony will make at its big E3 press event, here are the five announcements that I most want Sony to make for the PlayStation 4.
Having had a few days to digest the two very different launch events for Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One, I’ve come to a realization. As much as people don’t seem to like the Xbox launch, it wasn’t a failure in and of itself. In fact, I believe that Microsoft successfully accomplished what it set out to do.
The Xbox One and PlayStation Four both play video games. However, if you were to watch the two launch events, I’d understand if you were a little confused by that statement. While the PlayStation 4’s launch emphasised how it plays games and how it augments that with the social networking and sharing features, the Xbox spent comparatively little time talking about the games.
The difference in the launches was an example of how the console manufacturers are positioning their next-gen consoles in the market.
If Canadian users on the PlayStation Network or with Qriocity or Sony Online Entertainment accounts thought they had gotten all the freebies they could out of Sony after the 2011 PSN hack, think again. A recently settled class-action lawsuit in Ontario means that Canadian PSN/SOE users can get some more free stuff from Sony.