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Reaction: Sony Has Outwitted Microsoft at Every Opportunity with PS4

Posted by Sammy Barker

Playing its cards right

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.

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User Comments (82)

Sanquine

#1

Sanquine said:

Yeah, it was underwelming enough to convince me to reconsider buying a xbox one ... I love the policies but i expected them not to hold back. I also hated the not vita time at all. Sony give me some gives for the vita or i will drop that thing faster than a hot patatoe

Edit: I preordered the ps4.... but so underwhelmed : Final fantasy not an exclusive any more and Kingdom hearts also multiplatform. I dont mind going on the Wii U but KH3 on xbox one :S

irken004

#2

irken004 said:

One or two more reveals would have been nice, and vita attention was a bit underwhelming. But the showstopper was PS4 and it did well.

Gamer83

#3

Gamer83 said:

@Sanquine

I'd buy a Wii U before Xbox One. Nintendo makes better games and doesn't have bs game ownership policies. I've been a fan of the Xbox brand but until MS clears out the stupid a$$es calling the shots and starts making better decisions, I can't even consider an Xbox One purchase. And that disappoints me greatly because I love the Halo franchise.

I can't say I'm underwhelmed by PS4 though, two of my favorite series will be there early on and it's a great day one price for what's on offer. I am with you on the Vita though, I was saddened that it didn't get more time because I believe it essentially means it's a dead system. There are some good games coming this year but it's never going to be on the level of the 3DS which is just game after game after game.

JGMR

#4

JGMR said:

Generation-defining. In fact they probably saved console-gaming itself.

get2sammybAdmin

#5

get2sammyb said:

@Sanquine I suspected that the re-emphasis on games from the PS Meeting would make Sony's offering look slimmer, but I think you've got to remember that we still don't know what Naughty Dog, Studio London, San Diego, etc are up to.

If you think about the amazing year that the PS3's having at the moment, then just imagine what PS4's going to be like when all of the teams move onto it. The other thing to remember is that the likes of TitanFall are probably just timed exclusives, which has been Microsoft's policy from the start. Also, compare the PS3's current lineup to the Xbox 360's. The latter has been completely abandoned. That kinda sucks, right?

I'll have some more thoughts to the Vita later on. I agree that that totally sucked.

DeHorror1975

#8

DeHorror1975 said:

I wasnt underwhelmed at all, it would have been nice to see one really strong exclusive other than KZ, but I'm happy. I'm getting the vita soon too, I love the idea that I can play any PS4 game on the vita. KZ, infamous SS, elder scrolls online, destiny, that wizard game, FF, the division, AC, watch dogs, all looked amazing. What did xbox one have?

Gamer83

#9

Gamer83 said:

@Sanquine

The games will be there though, that's one thing the PlayStation home consoles have never failed to deliver on.

JGMR

#10

JGMR said:

@Sanquine I bet Nintendo has some interesting stuff to show today. Something we didn't see coming at all... :p

belmont

#12

belmont said:

Just woke up and started catching the news. From what I have seen so far PS4 costs 399 euros, will have FF15, free plus games and no DRM of any kind. I think I am sold. I may not have money in the release date but I may ge t PS4 close to FF15 release. There are some more interesting games also but rpg are selling points for me. I want to see some Vita news now...

MaxaMod

#13

MaxaMod said:

It looks like Sony wants to play dirty and so far they r doing just fine, they got 20 titles for the 1st 12 months we saw like 5 or 7 of them and Sony already had a thumb card for e3 so why bring out all ur weapons when a long road a head
GC in Germany and TGC must saved some kill app for those near lunch

in the other hand ms had no chose but to go and do some shopping since the were lagging in term of exclusive titles "most of IP's shown were from 3rd parties" and pay a lot of money with all bad news surrounding x1 ms had to bring out almost everything even a 20 sec tease
while Sony all they had to do was say ps4 is just like ps3 except no free mp and this round ...... very dirty and they were like we don't even need to try

evildevil97

#14

evildevil97 said:

They may have sold me on a PS4. Decent price, no DRM or used game BS. Only downer is the PS+ requirement for online. But honestly, for better servers, it might be worth it in the longrun. Just as long as they don't pull an XBox360 and require it for online interaction with apps like Netflix.

Dreamcaster-X

#15

Dreamcaster-X said:

They really have played their cards EXCEPTIONALLY well!!! It's almost like the perfect storm has formed around Microsoft's Xbox One but they brought it on themselves.

Sanquine

#20

Sanquine said:

Uuhm i am one of the best supporters of that thing... I have 3 vita's just saying..

Gamer83

#22

Gamer83 said:

@JGMR

A lot of these are indie games probably though, which I'm fine with but the Vita needs some real heavy hitters and Sony does need to get behind it more. This is two blown E3s in a row as far as the machine goes. This one I understand a little more because stuff absolutely had to be cleared up regarding PS4, but last year was ridiculous.

Gamer83

#23

Gamer83 said:

@Sanquine

Wouldn't Sony have made a point to say these were exclusive at the press conference though? Kind of strange. Hopefully more is says regarding these games over the next few days.

Sutorcen

#24

Sutorcen said:

Let's not forget that we have the Leipzig Game Show and the TGS where I believe the final nail to the XBOX DOne coffin will be nailed.

FullbringIchigo

#25

FullbringIchigo said:

Sony really blew MS out of the water on this one £80 cheaper, no DRM, No 24 hour check in, and no mandatory camera, i guess the only downside is now online gaming has to be paid for but at least everything else will still be free

also the fact they showed FFXV (formally VsXIII) and Kingdom Hearts III was a big plus for me

rastamadeus

#26

rastamadeus said:

The show was a bit meh at times - Destiny was especially poor - but that may also have been down to it being past 4am when it stopped here in the UK. Was a good show, not a spectacular one, in the end. Was disappointed that we saw pretty much nothing on PS3 we didn't know about and that Vita was ignored. I don't care what that guy on Twitter said, it seems Sony are trying to brush the handheld under the carpet at the moment.
As for PS4, have to admit I may be buying one sooner than I initially planned (a year to eighteen months) but definitely won't be at launch. That's a mugs game. Some of the titles looked brilliant (Tom Clancy's The Division, especially) and FFXV came close to giving me a hard-on. Such a shame though that the machine itself is absolutely hideous. No wonder they didn't show it off in February.
PS+ for online play isn't a problem for me as I'll always have + anyway. It's a shame you'll now have to it of course, but surely everyone should have it anyway? Fantastic service.
Overall I'd say the show was about a 7 while Microsoft's was a 4. Over to Nintendo now...

Galvatron

#28

Galvatron said:

Sony's conference was in the main a highly positive affair. Cheaper than the competition, no second-hand restrictions, no bizarre and frankly uneducated 'always or at least once-every-24hours' limitations.

But no Vita games, either.

It flys in the face of Shahid Kamals schoolboy-esque tweets ("not on my watch") which require not so much an explanation, but more specifics. We know the games are coming, but of the calibre of Killzone: Mercenary is what Vita owners want to see.

Still, the average Vita owner possessing 10 games was a surprise; I have 18, excluding PS1 and minis, otherwise 25. Favourites to keep me occupied until September?

Wipeout 2048
Persona 4: Golden
NFS: Most Wanted
AC: Liberation
Gravity Rush
MGS: HD Collection
Sine Mora
Soul Sacrifice

Hmm, for a machine supposedly on it's knees, how the hell did it manage that after year one?!?

Snorky

#33

Snorky said:

Sony's marketing teams really have been on top form. Playing on their strengths, capitalising on Microsofts weakness'. That said, I don't think the PS conference was all it could be this time around. I have a seriously hard time understanding why they would get someone who obviously seems to have a hard time with public speaking to head the segment which the majority of gamers rolled their eyes at, the Sony Entertainment segment.

I have no interest what Sony's Vita twitter guy has to say anymore, 40games coming to vita means nothing if they're not good enough to show or mention at e3. I wanted Vita to really soar at this e3 and it hurt to see it tossed aside so brutally.

Thanks to PushSquare for their coverage of the conference and I particularly liked the livechat you guys had running this time around!

Epic

#35

Epic said:

Well time to see how Nintendo bomb looks like and finaly see who wom.

Epic

#36

Epic said:

Well time to see how Nintendo bomb looks like and finaly see who wom.

Leifoh93

#37

Leifoh93 said:

Sony should have revealed like two more games but Its cool and all that you can play the used games plus you will Be Able To Experience Games On The Ps4 Once You Have Bought The Console So Yeah, Buy The ps4!!!!!!

rjejr

#38

rjejr said:

@rastamadeus - I agree w/ you again, except you got your numbers backwards, MS was a 7, Sony a 4. Ok, maybe Sony was a 6, but it was too slow and long winded until Squenix about halfway thru. Sony had better DRM and price info, that doesn't make it a more enjoyable or entertaining 90 minutes to watch.

Imagine if X1 was $399 and PS4 $499. How would it look then? That doesn't have anything to do w/ presentation to me, just facts.

Changing subject -
Two memorable quotes from Sammys and whoevers comments:
1. "Does anyone use Music Unlimited?" - That summed up the entire first half of the presentation last night.
2. "The Order: 1886 had tons of atmosphere. Could have done without the monsters." - Now you know exactly how I feel about tLoU. Which at midnight I was going to reply - "...cough... infected... cough..." but that Livechat was zooming. My wife and I were hysterical on the couch.

My condolences to Vita owners.

JGMR

#39

JGMR said:

I'm getting very annoyed by all these death-wishes (almost). Maybe people should check out the VITA forum. I'm continually updating it with new materials.

rastamadeus

#40

rastamadeus said:

@rjejr With the exception of Destiny Sony showed better games than Microsoft. The only two Xbox One games I liked the look of were Below (sucker for 16-bit era Zelda-like games) and Crimson Dragon, but now I don't want CD as its a Kinect title and Kinect is dreadful.
Personally Microsoft's show bored me to tears. The games all looked uninteresting (to me). The "big Rare IP" was their worst IP, looked terrible, is free to play and isn't even made by Rare. They even managed to make MGSV look boring! The whole thing was one long yawn. At least Sony's had energy, interesting looking games, didn't resort to cringingly bringing a car out and a man who clearly wanted to make love to it, had a bit of Daft Punk and a man who has a voice like someone who has taken helium and its starting to fade off.
Destiny and Tretton (he should be behind a desk on Fox News, he looks that slimy) apart Sony's show was miles better.
Excited for 3pm though. New 3D Mario and Smash 4? Yes please.

get2sammybAdmin

#41

get2sammyb said:

@rjejr I totally agree that the pacing of the presentation sucked. Will write something about that later, I think. This is something they really need to address.

rastamadeus

#42

rastamadeus said:

@JGMR It's all stuff we know about though, besides Contrast. One new game at E3 is shocking.

@get2sammyb Pacing was sound I thought. It dipped a bit when they brought out that movies guy and Destiny got far too long but was a lot better than previous Sony shows.

MadchesterManc

#43

MadchesterManc said:

@rastamadeus I agree with you. Pacing was actually good and the fact this conference was on after 2AM yet managing to keep me awake n interested the whole time is commendable. It did dip during the Sony pictures bit but Sony had to do a little media section didnt they? I actually didnt get to sleep till about 5AM as the games and announcements had my mind buzzing for a while till fatigue took over. Enjoy this gif guys...

Untitled

Epic

#45

Epic said:

Microsoft conference was overall better but in the end looks like PS4 is a better console and that's all it matters.

NathanUC

#46

NathanUC said:

I didn't really enjoy the Sony conference all that much mainly because I had already known or strongly assumed just about everything they announced. The Microsoft conference was interesting to me, but no where near convincing enough.

Sony has earned my money this generation. I'd buy a Wii U over Xbox One... and that's saying A LOT. Microsoft is just focusing on all the wrong things in my book.

Gamer83

#47

Gamer83 said:

@Galvatron

The Vita has a great library, the problem is its best games are either niche indie titles or multiplats. I'm not going to knock the indie games because honestly I'll take something like Guacamelee over 95% of the big budget retail games these days. But indie games and multiplats don't sell systems and Sony's indifferent attitude is really hurting it. I want to see this machine get the sales it deserves but to do so some bigger AAA releases like a GTA are needed and Sony especially needs to stop treating it as an afterthought in these ridiculously long conferences.

ShogunRokAdmin

#48

ShogunRok said:

The conference lagged at the start sure, but I don't see how anyone can say it was bad. I actually thought it was a better performance than the last three years. No idea how high your expectations were if you thought it was craptastic. My advice would be to never watch E3 ever again.

MadchesterManc

#49

MadchesterManc said:

@rastamadeus I think most europeans are in the same boat as us when it comes to work the following day. The things us gamers do at E3 lol I feel like a zombie today

@ShogunRok I agree. Its like people were expecting the second coming of Jesus or somethin.

HeatBombastic

#51

HeatBombastic said:

@ShogunRok No one thought it was craptastic, just underwhelming. Even if we say the PS4 games are better than the Xbox One games, Microsoft still only focused on the games and wowed us with new games in their conference, but Sony showed off lots of games we already knew about, for the most part, and had pretty bad pacing. Of course, whenever Sony shot the Xbox One in their conference, it just gives a smile on your face.

Jaz007

#52

Jaz007 said:

I though it was great. I was a little disappointed about he lack of exclusive games announced though. @Sanquine Wait, both are exclusive, I'm not as disappointed anymore.

rjejr

#55

rjejr said:

I'll admit, it was far better than last years Wonderbook fiasco, but that was last year, I had just seen the MS conference 9 hours earlier. And TBH the only MS game I wanted was Project Spark, which was more tech demo than game. MGS looked slow, and I don't play FPS or racing games, but it had energy and made me want to play those games while I was watching.

Of course then at the end the $499 comes out - and 499 euros, which I know just can't be a good match - and MS is done.

So I'll close with this - Sony "won" based on price and DRM and KH3, but I'ld still rather re-watch the MS show if I had to pick one, I thought the car unveil was cool, but I also liked watching Rob Halford ride out on his bike back in the day.

Time to go, I have uh, things to do.

Which reminds me - Hey Sanquine where were you last night, missed you in the Livechat?

Sanquine

#57

Sanquine said:

@rjejr I had to sleep dude... I had to stay up 5 AM in the morning:S Work you know:( Missed the whole conference. Sony won on policy.... but where are the games?

rastamadeus

#60

rastamadeus said:

@Sanquine It was graffiti from somewhere in America, I think. Saw a photo online and tried to use it but couldn't, so made it myself in Paint. Can't go wrong with Pacman or David Bowie so a mix is perfect, haha.

rastamadeus

#61

rastamadeus said:

Off topic (sorry to the Sony fanboys who will whine) but ****ing hell the new 3D Mario looks sensational. Super Mario 3D World is a four player Mario, has a cat power-up(!) and looks like how I imagined 3D Mario game would look back when I was little and first reading about the 'Ultra 64'. I think I'm in love.

Joburn90

#63

Joburn90 said:

@Sanquine I don't know if you are right for Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy 15, but on Wikipedia, it says that it's only on PS4

rastamadeus

#64

rastamadeus said:

@Sanquine It looks proper fun. As does Mario Kart 8 for that matter. Gonna have to get a Wii U soon.

To anyone who has one, what is Miiverse like? It looks fascinating. I wish Sony were trying to go along a similar route rather than the Facebook way.

Sanquine

#65

Sanquine said:

@rastamadeus Its a lot more fun than facebook :) its even better. I would never post something about games on my fb . Last time i did that someone called me a loser with no life.... miiverse :-)

Galvatron

#66

Galvatron said:

@Gamer83 I respect your opinion, but have to disagree it has no exclusive titles; Gravity Rush is simply astonishing in not only creating a fabulous world of immersion; moreso in it's sensation of flight and speed, ably assisted by the games myriad of controls. Sound Shapes, whilst also available on PS3, is an excellent title using DLC akin to an art form. Soul Sacrifice is part Monster Hunter, part Dark Souls, all-addictive. Assassins Creed: Liberation is utterly joyous in creating a story-driven 3D realm where strategic swiping of the rear touchpad steals goodies from NPC's....and Killzone: Mercenary will be the killer app
Vita owners are waiting for, and as a FPS using the
Killzone 3 engine, it will herald new bigger titles.

I absolutely love the Vita and whilst I agree with you that it needs more AAA titles a la GTA or Bioshock,
let's have faith that Sony will serve out quality titles
over the next 2 or 3 years. From my memory, ALL
Playstation formats suffered from major droughts early
in the machine's cycle, including PSP, yet all also stood the test of time.

Many talk about the PSP's continued success, yet they forget exactly the same butchering Sony (rightfully) received for lack of titles. Time, it's clear to see, plays a heavy part in the assessment of a console's lifespan. I'm starting to see some critics finally laud Sony for the excellent indie presence on the portable, and technically Golden Abyss is also a new game, not a port, so there are plenty of top drawer games available.

I'm still waiting for Evo and Tekken, but such is the draw of the machine I've downloaded the PSP version of Evo and Tekken 6, and invested in a JBL portable speaker for watching movies a la The Hobbit and certain titles such as Most Wanted.

Incidentally, I'm now a HUGE fan of Music Unlimited on Vita, and recently took advantage of the Vita's wifi abroad by listening to the new Daft Punk album through the app and my Bluetooth speaker.

A very cool and new experience people, highly recommend :-D

rastamadeus

#67

rastamadeus said:

@Sanquine Did you see Smash Bros?! Oh me, oh my. Villager was a huge surprise and I don't even like Megaman but I'm still chuffed he's in there as he looks an incredible fit.

Itachi

#72

Itachi said:

I haven't thought about it that way. It would make a lot of sense to keep a few cards hidden until close to the holiday launch, then drop a Royal Flush killing all hope and any gained momentum of the competition. Now that you mention it, that's exactly what I'm expecting.

ObviouslySheik

#73

ObviouslySheik said:

That E3 was really bad for everyone. I think the worst part is that they essentially spat on the dying Vita. No love.

fishwilson

#74

fishwilson said:

the Vita is such a nice console with such sweet hardware specs it will last for years to come, there is no rush. I think the Vita has at least 5-7 years of life in it and with the "play all ps4 games remotely" function I think more and more people will want it as it gets cheaper and cheaper as the years go by.
I'm quite happy if we get 5-10 real triple A titles on the Vita each year from now, there are just so many (great) games to play on all consoles right now its overwhelming if you want to complete them all w/o resorting to gamefaq's and stuff which I don't.
The Vita will live on, its not dead.

Sanquine

#77

Sanquine said:

@rjejr Aaahw don't be a D*ck... I hope to see the wii u survice.. even with this line up they got ... It looks they are overshadowed

JMC

#78

JMC said:

@Sanquine
I also hope that the WiiU will survive. Hopefully, they will pull a 3DS and it will become a major system.
Anyway, looks like in this generation I will do the same combo as the last (Nintendo+Sony)

JMC

#79

JMC said:

Really disapointed by the lack of support for Vita though...

Gamer83

#80

Gamer83 said:

@Galvatron

PSP did suffer early but it also had decent third party support. That's something that's really lacking on Vita and while Gravity Rush is phenomenal and games like Killzone and Tearaway look awesome, they aren't really system sellers along the lines of GTA or Monster Hunter, which are the two franchises that are needed the most on the platform. The only way to convince those companies to sign up is to start selling more Vitas though so hopefully Sony has some aces up its sleeve that will get the thing moving. Better advertising and price cuts on the memory cards at least would be a good start.

Gamer83

#81

Gamer83 said:

@Sanquine

Killzone, inFamous, The Order, Knack, Watch_Dogs, Assassin's Creed IV, Kingdom Hearts 3, NBA 2K14, FF XV and lets not forget the great offerings from indie developers, many of which will be as good as or better than the 'blockbuster' retail releases everybody hypes up. Sony had games. Not many surprises but the games were certainly there.

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