Let’s be honest, today’s PlayStation press conference wasn’t the best that Sony’s ever put together. The pacing was lethargic after Microsoft’s high-octane offering of trailers and live gameplay demonstrations, and it all took a while to hit top gear. The platform holder fell headfirst into the trap that we’d forewarned, spending far too much time talking, and not enough showing. It was even subjected to a hardware fault on a far greater scale than DICE’s Battlefield 4 blunder, when Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag actually crashed during a cut-scene. But while there were plenty of negatives, the Japanese giant can still sleep tonight satisfied with its performance, as it somehow managed to completely get the best of its closest competitor yet again.
Ever since the surprise reveal of the PlayStation Meeting earlier in the year, it’s seemed like Sony’s been toying with Microsoft like a kitten with a catnip sack
Ever since the surprise reveal of the PlayStation Meeting earlier in the year, it’s seemed like Sony’s been toying with Microsoft like a kitten with a catnip sack. And it continued that trend during its press conference, by not only undercutting the price of the Xbox One, but by also taking the moral highroad with regards to consumer rights. Under ordinary circumstances, confirming that the console will play used games should not have been a bullet point on the press conference checklist at all, but SCEA executive Jack Tretton took great pleasure in revealing that the system will operate without restrictions on pre-owned content. Unsurprisingly, the announcement was met with rapturous applause – and a few groans in a nearby Microsoft backroom.
And it will preserve your rights as a consumer for a $100 less than Microsoft’s machine, which is the real showstopper here. Despite packing hardware that’s supposedly more advanced than its counterpart’s console, the PS4 will actually retail for a fraction of the cost. We suppose that the firm learned some hard lessons from the pricing of the PlayStation 3, but we never expected the company to turn things around in such an emphatic manner – or for Microsoft to drop the ball so hard. That the console’s poised to offer a comparative – if not marginally better – performance for a significantly more competitive price point will prove a monumental positive for the PS4 moving forward.
Microsoft has clearly accrued a compelling offering of content for the Xbox One, and Sony simply can’t afford to rest on its laurels in this department for a second
Without these two announcements, though, today’s offering would have been a bit of a wash. The continued prominence of the PS3 has really eaten into its next generation platform’s catalogue, and despite the promise of some big titles in the pipeline, the manufacturer failed to really demonstrate them during its showcase. The Order: 1886 certainly looks intriguing, and inFAMOUS: Second Son smoked our expectations like a fine steak – but there’s no doubt that Microsoft is clipping at the company’s heels in this area. Whether it’s through financial incentives or just good business acumen, the Redmond-based manufacturer has clearly accrued a compelling offering of content for the Xbox One, and Sony simply can’t afford to rest on its laurels.
The positive news is that we get the impression that the firm is holding back. We still don’t really know what a vast majority of its studios are up to – Naughty Dog, Media Molecule, London Studio, and more – and perhaps this is just a part of the Japanese giant’s master plan. Assuming that Microsoft already unloaded its full arsenal, then perhaps the platform holder is going to go in for the kill closer to launch with the unveilings of the inevitable next entry in the Uncharted series and The Last Guardian. We’re looking for excuses, of course, but given the company’s current track record of completely outwitting its counterpart, we wouldn’t put anything past it at the present. And nor should you.
What were your thoughts on Sony’s press conference? Did it live up to your expectations? Let us know in the comments section below.