Posted June 11, 2013 by Amy in E3

Sony Press Conference: Game Over For Microsoft, or Just Over Hyped?


Ah, yesterday. That moment when Sony announced they would not be outlawing used games on their new console, and the gaming world went wild as they secretly sneaked in the news that Playstation Plus would now be mandatory. It was a wild ride, and now that we’ve had the time to think about it, the entire team has mixed feelings about the whole. Initial reactions aside, is PS4 truly going to smash the XboxOne into the ground in terms of sales, or is there more to the debate than that. Check out our team discussion below.

Peter:  I’ve woken up to pretty much all of my friends saying PS4 > X1 – it’s $100 cheaper, apparently they addressed issues like the DRM, and indie games were covered as well as AAA titles. I’ll definitely have to find a version of the stream online and watch it later. However, one friend mentioned share prices… this morning shows:

“Microsoft Corporation Stock Quote & Summary Data
$35.47*  0.20    0.56%”
“Sony Corp Ord Stock Quote & Summary Data
SNE $20.11*  0.55    2.81%”

But to be honest, even just the lower hardware price seems to have convinced a lot of people I know. I will definitely have to check all the details for myself later.

Zeth:  I said the price would be 399 or less and I was right ;) price seems spot on, if not a little low tbh. But a ps4 and ps vita will set you back the same ad a launch ps3 did so Sony have learned their lesson it seems. Not caught up on all the games yet but they seemed to have shown a good balance of aaa and indie. The need for ps+ to play online was inevitable . What was a little shocking was no used games countermeasures. Starting to see why EA are suckling at the dark teat of Microsoft now and pouring scorn on Sony. Shame no firm launch details given and that Gaikai won’t be at launch or in anywhere but the USA initially. I need to do more digging on the console , camera and games but at the moment I’m heading online tonight to pre order a ps4 unless I read anything I don’t like.

Ladies and Gents, I think we can safely say that Sony once again knock it out of the park conference wise.

Justin:  PS4 will kill Xbox One. Price difference and the way they treat paying customers will make the difference. Bye bye Xbox One, I never really wanted you and your NSA spy camera in the first place.

Jeff:  I think Microsoft are crazy with the price and DRM stuff. Sony really hit them hard with the comment that they are still consumer focused. But they should have said “we are now going to be consumer focused” as this will be the first time in a long time. I think it’s funny that everyone is over looking the fact that players will now have to pay 60 bucks a year to play online when all along PS fanboys we saying that’s not something people should pay for. They have also not addressed the idea of if they will allow many people to play the same game or if they will need their own copy.

I think that part is missed in all of this DRM stuff. There is still some unanswered questions. Does anyone actually know what playing a game online with a PS will be like? Can you party chat? Can you cross game chat? How is the match making? I think everyone is being a little to trusting of Sony right now. They have yet to deliver anything except false promises and excuses so far.  I would not count Xbox out yet. If they treat the game companies better, then they will get the better games. Period. PS fanboys can do like what they have been doing for the last five years and scream about how Xbox sucks while they are playing crappy Killzone and talking to themselves with imaginary headsets. What makes everyone think sony will not be adding DRM stuff next year? Because they say so? Just like they said they won’t charge to play online? I think everyone needs to simmer down and stop acting like Sony is here to save us all. They are here to make money and will see out just as fast as they always have.

A hem. Don’t  misunderstand me. Xbox is doing a royal screw job to every gamer everywhere. It ticks me off at how much they can get away with. I still have no idea how live is going to work or used games or their stupid always on crap. Even today I am hearing different stories. They need to cut the crap and just lay everything out for people. They are way too over confident and it could kill them. When it comes to substance, i got way more out of Xbox. They have the games i want and the smart glass stuff is getting really good. Sony showed crap as far as games plus some vita stuff…really? They really need to have better stuff. Destiny Was the only thing that interested me. The bottom line is, I will be playing my 360 for a while. I hope that either Sony delivers on its promises plus get something interesting to play or Xbox gets its head out before I have to make a decision.

I am an angry gamer for now.

Justin:  No doubt there is still some stuff up in the air, but if nothing else in 10 years (or whatever) when Sony shuts off the PSN servers for the PS4 the console will still work and play my single player games. Microsoft’s Xbox One will be a brick. As someone who keeps, and occasionally plays, their older consoles, that means a lot to me.

Adam:  “I think it’s funny that everyone is overlooking the fact that players will now have to pay 60 bucks a year to play online when all along PS fanboys we saying that’s not something people should pay for.” Yes, yes and a thousand times yes! They’re suddenly paying for something they’ve been able to do for free, something that they’ve perpetually denigrated Microsoft and the Xbox for. And suddenly Sony announce a paywall for online multiplayer and they’re honestly okay with that? I wouldn’t be. I’d be f***ing livid.

I think (sitting on the sidelines), it’s going to be very interesting to see whether people actually vote with their feet regarding the Xbox One, and MS are left to desperately do a U turn on some of their existing policies. Whether Sony really does become the utopia for gamers or whether Valve or someone else pulls something serious out of the bag and we suddenly see a four horse race on the console front.On another note – for all the next gen-ness, has there actually been a groundbreaking next gen title?
Dan:  Amen, Jeff. @Justin: MS has clearly shown they intend to support the 360 for another few years, with the announcement of the new 360 box. Which means supporting offline games on 360.

As for XBO, I agree that the check-ins and limitations on sharing ought to go; but I love what they’re using the always-connected for in games. And if you’re THAT paranoid about the Kinect, change the options to turn it off, put a blanket on it, or unplug it. And don’t forget that your beloved PS4 has the Eye there as well. I’m certain Sony will be making use of it (as will the NSA, right?). If someone REALLy wanted to spy on you/steal your info, there is nothing you can do to stop them. Nothing at all. Firewalls can be hacked, encryption can be broken, etc.Sorry, old man, but the digital age is here. Even Ninty switched to discs for the GCube and hasn’t looked back.

Amy:  I think, had circumstances been different, people would have. The thing is, we were all waiting for the axe to fall, as everyone honestly expected for Sony to shaft consumers in favor of producers, just like microsoft – in which case, it’s more a decision between whether you want to keep on being a gamer and sell out to their evil, or give up this thing you love because their practices are so anti-consumer. When they didn’t do that, it’s like we’re all just so damn happy about it that we’re willing to overlook it – mainly because, again, we all expected it anyway.

Dan:  The Division/Forza/N4S all utilize the “always-connected” funtionality of the XBO to do some really incredible, seamless integration of SP/MP.

Amy:  Maybe so, but they could have done that like Xbox Live – make it an opt in feature, rather than required. I rarely play online, and I don’t like the consequences involved in your internet going down for a few days, or my kids breaking the Kinect, or a new console coming out down the road – all of which brick my XbOne – at least temporarily, at worst permanently. It’s more of the “you don’t own this, even though you paid half a grand for it” crap.

Jeff:  It appears the DRM will be up to developers on PS4. I know the talking points are to say that this is just like the PS3 but won’t developers move to the lowest common denominator? I mean basically the DRM is going to be what ever the developer wants it to be so…what’s the differentiator? “Pro consumer”  is sounding more and more like rhetoric. And this is just one day after the announcement. What happens a month from now?

Amy:  Yes and no. I think anti-consumer is definitely the way it’s going, but Microsoft has completely eliminated any chance of used games, whereas with the PS4, at least some of them might work – so we have a little hope. It ain’t much, mind you – but it’s something. And, we pay $100 less to get violated, so there’s that.

Zeth Ps4 pre ordered , X1 next year . Microsoft can suck a cockerel if they think I’m wading in before I’ve watched what’s actually on offer from them for a few months after launch . No x1 exclusive excited me… None at all. Titanfall looked like an up resed version of COD mw2 with added mechs, Halo was a logo and dead rising 3,,,, really Capcom? Actually Forza looked solid.

The test of the titles at the X1 show were multi platform anyways,

Exclusives that looked good to incredible on PS4 were Infamous second son, Tearaway, drive club, Transistor , knack, the ready at dawn title and all of those indie games. Killzone looked great but I’m super bored with shooters . Destiny looked interesting even though I’m no Bungie fan.

Ultimately it comes down to personal choice based on investment . It depends how much your friends list and gamer score are worth to you… Is it worth the extra $100?

If you consider it a PS 4 with Camera is £395 so a PS4 + camera + game + a year of ps+ (which will get you Drive Club for free too!)= roughly £475. An X1 + game + xbl = roughly £500 so there’s not much in it tbh… Unless you exclude the PS 4 camera… Then it’s £420 making it £10 cheaper than an X1 with nothing.

Just food for thought ;)

Overall they’ve been good conferences. MS have shown a lot of the arrogance and hubris that caused Sony to stumble for a couple of years this gen. Initial, ie gut, reaction is that Sony just “won ” the first 12 – 18 months of this next generation . After that time it’s all about general consumer consumption.

Oh and the Sony sharing games vid is funny and the Dark Sorcerer tech demo from Quantic Dream is incredible… Especially as it’s all in-engine!!

<strong<Jeff Normally I would suggest getting the most expensive violation possible. The more you spend, the more justification you can come up with. “but we love e each other” and such ;)

Don’t take all of this as an apology for M$.

It just bugs me when Sony seams to get credit for nothing.

Remember when they sent that actor out on stage and spent the entire press conf cracking jokes about ms and Nintendo only to come back later with their between their legs and pretend that never happened?

I really want Sony to be the clear choice but in the back of my mind i still don’t trust them. All of the hype is making me even more leary. I cut my teeth with PS and ps2. Loves those systems but then they went crazy.

Now ms is doing the same thing and i am left wondering where that leaves us as gamers, my family as gamers, and games in general.

Did anyone see anything that just blew their socks off? I mean i cheered for mirrors edge two and the stuff we saw with battlefield 4 but then i was like oh yeah…we have to buy into one of these corporate nightmares in order to have those experiences.

Its not just a choice to play games or not anymore. Its a choice about which one to let take control of my gaming experience.

I need to do, or someone does, a comparison of how much the cost of ownership is for a family of 4 (or 7) to own these consoles and maybe a PC setup. Of course we would need actual data, which appears to be hard to come by.

Amy The problem with pc gaming as a familly is that you almost require multiple computers, and that is prohibitively expensive. Most of the multiplayer aspects are online, whereas consoles still offer local (although, sadly, it is less than before). I don’t know about you, but around here everyone tends to game around the same times in the day, simply because that is when we are free. Everyone from the 4 year old through the adults games, so for a family setup – one sweet computer just isn’t going to do it, even for smaller families. I know you guys have multiple xboxes, but even for someone willing to do that, several Xbox360′s versus several gaming computers is significantly cheaper.

So what are your thoughts? Is Sony the clear winner in these heated next gen console wars? Will Microsoft come from behind to dominate with an all around machine that may appeal more to non-gamers? And are consumers really better off this generation than the last?


U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)