Sony on Monday priced its latest PlayStation 4 console US $100 lower than the new Xbox One by rival Microsoft as competition for gamers’ pockets intensifies ahead of the year-end holidays and gift-giving season.
Sony said it would sell the latest PlayStation model for $399 late in the year shortly after Microsoft announced a $499 price tag for its first new Xbox in eight years and said it would go on sale in the United States in November.
“The price point was something we gave a lot of consideration to and also that value message for consumers and to think if that reaction is any indication, then we really hit the bulls-eye in terms of positive reaction from consumers,” said Jack Tretton, President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America.
Sony also drew cheers from the audience at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles when it said the PS4 would run second-hand games and did not require an always-on Internet connection.
Microsoft had earlier elicited groans from gamers when it announced restrictions on used games for the Xbox One and said players had to log onto the Internet for authentication.
Microsoft and Sony hope the consoles will attract new fans and retain users who are increasingly playing games on smartphones and other mobile devices, gradually diminishing the $66-billion video game business. Both companies are also offering more entertainment options.
“I think it still comes down to innovation and new technology,” explained Tretton, on PS4’s ability to draw from its wide-ranging platform of titles to generate interest with gamers.
“I think that it is great that you have the big box office blockbuster title like The Last of Us, you also have great indie games coming out from small teams of one, two, five seven or 10 people that are really immersive. It is the quality of games and the immersive nature of it. If you deliver that, you will get consumer interested support.”
The Xbox 360 is currently the best-selling gaming console in the United States, but global sales are almost on par with the PlayStation 3.
The new Xbox and PlayStation are both pricier than the $300 Wii U which Nintendo launched late last year but which has sold poorly, partly due to a dearth of new gaming titles. Nintendo is expected to announce new games for the device at the E3 on Tuesday.
Sony did not give details about original programming content for the PS4 but said new game titles would include Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag by Ubisoft and Kingdom Hearts III by Disney Interactive Studios and Square Enix Holdings.