Sony v Microsoft - let the 2013 games begin
The opening shots in the battle for the hearts and minds of gamers have been fired at this year’s E3
“We support used games. We support trade of games,” he said. “In fact, the way that we describe how it will work with Xbox One is about how we can share, how folks in the living room can share their library of games with friends, irrespective of whether they have the disc with them, irrespective of whether they’re on their own Xbox One or somebody else’s.
“It’s about choice. It’s about offering consumers that flexibility of digital choice.”
However, the company said it would continue to listen to feedback from its retail partners and it was looking at its policy in some areas, particularly in the game rental area.
“There is this loan-and-rent discussion that has come up,” Lewis said. “It won’t be available at launch but we are looking at that. We will look to evolve that policy on the right way.”
Sony, meanwhile, is trying to woo developers, creating a more accessible architecture and aiming for a more reasonable price point, Informa’s Jackson said.
“The extension of PlayStation Plus across three platforms – PS4, PS3 and PS Vita – and bets on massive titles such as Destiny from Bungie make it a compelling package for dedicated gamers.”
However, he warned that Sony’s ambitions beyond traditional gaming were still unclear and a lack of entertainment services in a similar vein to the Xbox One could lead to the console struggling once early- adopting gamers have their hardware.
It seems though that Sony took a leaf out of Microsoft’s book for something: online gaming. Microsoft requires players who want to play games online to take out a subscription to its Xbox Live Gold service, which costs from €5 a month.
Those who want to play online multiplayer games on the PlayStation 4 will have to take out a PlayStation Plus subscription, a change from its current policy on the PlayStation 3.
And just because the next generation of consoles is imminent, it doesn’t mean the existing crop will be going anywhere any time soon.
Like Sony did with the PlayStation 2, Microsoft is also keeping its Xbox 360 a core part of its strategy for the near future. A sleeker, slimmer Xbox 360 was unveiled at the pre-E3 event on Monday, indicating that Microsoft plans to keep producing the goods for its 76-million strong install base.
“We remain very committed to Xbox 360,” Lewis said. “That platform will continue to be vibrant for a number of years. We’ll continue to bring content to it, both us and our development partners.”
The next few months are sure to bring some surprises as the games firms prepare to go to head to head. Regardless of what the outcome is, it will certainly be an interesting time in the industry, for all concerned.