One of the most memorable things about E3 was Sony’s press conference. It announced that not only you can play used games on the PS4 but also that you do not have to connect to the internet every 24 hours in order to play your games. Although Microsoft has gone back and fixed the Xbox One to allow for these things too, there is one thing that it did not fix, and that is the price tag.
When Sony announced that it PS4 will cost only $399, there was a huge applause from the crowd at E3. A lot of this has to do with the fact that Microsoft priced its Xbox One at $499. However, when you look at the stats of these two consoles, you will see that they are pretty similar. So the question is: How was Sony able to undercut Microsoft by so much? All you have to do is look at what is bundled with every system to get your answer.
When you buy the Xbox One, it will come with the Kinect. This is a motion-detecting camera that is required for your Xbox One. Although it is impossible to know the price of the new Kinect camera for the Xbox One, it is safe to assume that it costs at least $99. After all, that is what the current Kinect camera for the Xbox 360 costs.
Sony also has its own motion-detecting camera for PlayStation consoles, called the PlayStation Eye. The Eye does not come bundled with the PS4, at least not in any bundle that has been announced so far. However, had Sony added the Eye to every PS4 bundle, it would have easily raised the price $60.
If you take all of this into account, the systems are a bit closer in price. Had Sony included the Eye with the PS4, this would have likely increased the price to $459. That would have put the Xbox One just about $40 more than the PS4. Better yet, had Microsoft not included its Kinect with every Xbox One system, it could have dropped its price around $100, putting it right at the $399 price tag with the PS4.
Although most hardcore gamers do not care to use this kind of motion tracking technology, there is some method behind Microsoft’s madness. Now that every consumer will have a Kinect when they buy the Xbox One, developers are much more likely to make Kinect games or, at the very least, work Kinect controls into their games.
Sony is in a much different boat now with the Eye. Not every consumer will have an Eye when they buy the PS4, so developers will not feel like making games for the Eye until more people buy it. Unfortunately, people are not going to buy the Eye until there are some good games for it. It kind of puts Sony in a Catch 22.
That being said, both companies have a long time to work out the problems with their systems. Judging by what Sony and Microsoft have said, these systems could easily have a lifespan of 10 years or more. If that is the case, Sony will have a long time to figure out how to sell more Eye add-ons. For those of you who think that Sony will just forget about the Eye or think they should, it probably will not happen. This is due to the fact that each PS4 controller has an LED move tracker on top of it. Without the Eye, this becomes nothing more than a pretty light and wasted money.
For the time being, it looks like Sony has won over more hearts with its lower price tag. However, in the end, Microsoft’s strategy for including a Kinect with every system might just pay off. Right now, Microsoft really needs to focus on clearing its name. Despite news that Microsoft has changed its stance on used games and “always on,” many gamers still seem upset with the company. Right now, Microsoft is just hoping this “gamer rage” will cool down before launch.