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Sony takes aim at Microsoft with PlayStation 4

By Lou Kesten

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 01:37 a.m. HST, Jun 11, 2013

LOS ANGELES » Sony broke out the heavy ammunition Monday against Microsoft, announcing its forthcoming PlayStation 4 will cost $399 — $100 less than the competing Xbox One.

"The gaming landscape is changing with new business models and new ways to play," said Andrew House, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment.

The price announcement wasn't the only shot fired at Microsoft during Sony's presentation at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the gaming industry's annual U.S. trade show. The loudest applause at the company's event show came when Jack Tretton, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America, announced that the company would not try to restrict used game sales. Tretton also said the PS4 would not require a persistent online connection.

"PlayStation 4 disc-based games don't need to be connected online to play or any type of authentication," said Tretton. "If you enjoy playing single-player games offline, PS4 won't require to you check in online period and it won't stop working if you haven't authenticated in 24 hours."

Microsoft has been criticized for its vague statements about whether it will allow buyers of its Xbox One to play secondhand software, as well as its requirement that the new console be connected to the Internet at least once every 24 hours.

Beyond those issues, Sony gave potential PS4 buyers plenty of games to look forward to later this year. The company's Santa Monica Studios, the developer of the "God of War" franchise, introduced the steampunk thriller "The Order: 1866." Quantic Dream, the French studio behind "Heavy Rain" and the upcoming "Beyond: Two Souls," provided a comical glimpse at the fantasy "The Dark Sorcerer."

Shu Yoshida, president of Sony Worldwide Studios, said the company's studios have more than 30 PS4 games in development, including 12 brand new intellectual properties.

Sony also showed new footage from previously announced PS4 games like the superhero adventure "InFamous: Second Son," the auto racing simulator "Drive Club" and the sci-fi shooter "Killzone: Shadow Fall."

Several third-party developers also debuted next-generation titles at Sony's event. Bungie, the creator of the blockbuster Xbox series "Halo," showed the first in-game footage of its highly anticipated first-person shooter "Destiny." Warner Bros. showed a clip from a new "Mad Max" game, while Square-Enix announced the long-awaited "Kingdom Hearts III" and "Final Fantasy XV." Overall, Tretton said, more than 140 PS4 titles are in the pipeline.

That includes an assortment of games from smaller, independent developers, which Sony featured onstage next to giant publishers like Activision and Ubisoft. The processing chips in the PS4 are similar to those in PCs rather than the complex, idiosyncratic "Cell" architecture used in the PS3. That should make it easier for developers of all sizes to build games for Sony's new console.

Like Microsoft, Sony is betting big on social networking features. The new version of its DualShock controller includes a "share" button that allows you to post gameplay footage and screenshots.

Friends can watch as you play a game, and you'll even be able to let a pal take control of your game from afar if you can't get past a tough battle. The controller also includes a touchpad and a Move motion sensor that works with a camera placed near the TV set.




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Kealii wrote:
Is Microsoft purposely trying to lose the next-generation console war before it has even started?!? Unreal and inexcusable. Especially considering Microsoft had the advantage seeing that Sony chose to unveil their next console first. Nope, nada. Instead, they repeatedly shoot themselves in the foot. Used game restrictions? Mandatory internet connection needed? Kinect required? Costs $100 more than Sony? If Microsoft doesn't pull a rabbit out of their hat, the question of which console to buy is going to be one of the easiest in some time come the end of the year.
on June 11,2013 | 02:02AM
bender wrote:
Nah, it's just arrogance on Microsoft's part. I think my family (3 consoles in 2 states) will continue to use the 360 until such time as they quit supporting it, then we will decide. Wonder if the PS4 will be backwards compatable with PS3 on the Playstatioin Network.
on June 11,2013 | 05:18AM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
My family uses the Playstation 3 as I refuse to pay a toll fee of sixty dollars a year just so that they can play online on the Xbox 360. On the Playstation 3 it is free. Of course, some game companies such as EA now charges for online play if you buy games secondhand. I do hope that Playstation 4 continues the tradition. Our Xbox 360 just collects dust as, given the option, we choose games that are available on the Playstation 3 first as that means that we can play them online. Of course some games are only available on Xbox 360 but there are so many games on the Playstation 3 that that is practically moot. And, no, I do not purchase games for my children. They have to earn it. They earn their money through doing chores such as washing the car, the dishes and cleaning. What I notice is that they don't take their things for granted. I remember speaking to a fellow parent at a Christmas party who told me that her child only accepts new unused games. If that kid were mine, he'd have no games at all. I really like the fact that Sony will not try to hamper the use of used games. Microsoft is only shooting themselves in the foot right before the launch. But then, there are tons of Microsoft fanboys who will purchase the Xbox One regardless. And I think that's why Microsoft has the arrogance to push the authentication matter forward. People have a choice and I think many will toss the Xbox One option once they realize what they are buying into. One big thing that Playstation 4 has over Xbox One is the ability to play Bluray discs. Can Xbox One lay claim to that? No.
on June 11,2013 | 09:40AM
Kealii wrote:
Actually, both upcoming consoles can play Bluray discs. Sony also mentioned they will be charging $5 per month to play online games. I don't mind paying to play as long as I get my money's worth. I have both the PS3 and Xbox 360 and while it is nice not to have to pay another online subscription with the PS3, Microsoft's online service is leaps and bounds ahead of Sony's which makes you feel you are at least getting something extra for putting down $60 a year for it. So in any case, as far as these two points go both new consoles are on equal footing here.
on June 11,2013 | 01:38PM
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