Sony Just Smacked The Xbox One In The Mouth

Usually, verdicts of "winners" and "losers" coming out of E3 press conferences are little more than armchair pondering. One person's view of some competing events that don't really matter. But today, boy, it's hard seeing Sony's press conference as anything but a punch in the face to Microsoft's Xbox One ambitions.

The second half of Sony's conference was targeted at systematically taking apart Microsoft's entire platform policy with the Xbox One, presenting the PlayStation 4 as a console able to undercut almost everything Microsoft was offering. Or, in many cases, forcing consumers to endure.

The Xbox One costs $US499? Oh, OK, the PlayStation 4 costs $US399. The Xbox One imposes online checks? The PS4 doesn't. The Xbox One has restrictions on the use of your disc-based games? The PS4 does no such thing.

It's a series of calculated business decisions - and they are calculated, right down to the fact Microsoft's policies were directly referenced by Sony - that have resulted in one of the most lop-sided public reactions to an E3 press conference in recent memory. No wonder Jack Tretton spent the last 20 minutes giggling like a schoolgirl.

Seriously, people are going crazy. Twitter and forums are overflowing with people declaring everything from "BEST E3 EVER" to "RIP XBOX ONE". I've been doing this job for a long time now, and I've never seen a reaction like it.

By listening to how upset people had become over Microsoft's restrictions and demands, and catering their console to appeal to them, Sony has instantly won itself legions of Xbox converts and new fans.

Is it enough to matter? Who knows. The next 5-10 years will see many ups and downs for both Microsoft and Sony in the console race. Sony's exclusives might under-perform. Microsoft's new Kinect could be seen as a wonder-device, much like Nintendo's Wii Remote, unlocking massmarket sales. To determine a "winner" in this contest before a console has even been sold would be crazy.

But what's important to day is that, unlike the last time they unveiled a new console's price at E3, Sony are off to a very strong start.


    What a great day to be a 'hardcore gamer'. Well done Sony.

    I think Sony have played this smartly. They announced their console first, a couple of months ago, but were sketchy on the details. Microsoft do their big reveal after that. Sony makes notes of what the reactions were to what is announced, then shows up to E3 to deliberately target those things.

    It's definitely smart thinking by Sony's marketing, but time will tell exactly what the final outcome will be.

    LONG LIVE playstation!! R.I.P. xbox! hell yeah!

    Kudos to Sony, they certainly won over the hardcore, and their used games policies will win support with the retailers too.

    Exactly, this is just the beginning. Sony won the battle but the war is still on going. When the PS3 launched there was a lot of outrage about certain aspects but they eventually recovered. I expect both consoles to do well in the long run.

      If you mean PS4 and WiiU then yeah.

        No, I meant PS4, WiiU and Xbox One. All of the consoles! I doubt Xbox One will Dreamcast it!

      While this is somewhat true, I feel that this is the first time that I can remember where people have been this obviously polarised towards the consoles.
      I've been gaming for a long time, and have made a point of buying consoles on release since N64, but this is the first time I've looked at a console (XBONE) and just seen next to nothing for me on it.
      In every last detail XBONE seems like it wants to remind me that it isn't a gaming console, it is a media center that also plays games, but tells me how and when i can do so.

      I've honestly prefered Xbox over Playstation since the original Xbox, but Sony pressed all the right buttons this time. They told me that this gaming console is indeed a console for me, a gamer!

        It's true that when 360 and PS3 came out, I really didn't give a shit about them. One was $300 the other was $600. I bought both, but the cheaper one first.

        This time? Publishers and Microsoft have declared war on consumers, and Sony has taken a side.
        My side.
        If for no other reason, they get my money, and Microsoft will never see another cent of mine. Even if it means having to do much, much, much more research on where my dollars are going.

        Understandable. I've preferred Xbox over Playstation since I got the original Xbox too but I'm not completely sold on either console yet. I would buy from launch but being a University student does have its detriments...

        I see a lot of what is happening as inevitable, wasn't the PS2 the first console to incorporate other media into its purpose? Ever sine then it seems everyone to some degree whether it be a consumer or the creators expect a higher degree of versatility in consoles. I'm not agreeing that MS is making the, wisest, decisions but it does seem to be where the consoles were heading towards. Not saying it is where they should be heading but it was only a matter of time.

        It might work out in the long run might not, I'd rather not see MS utterly fail with the Xbox One(I thought the Dreamcast actually looked pretty cool) as the market would be rather empty in my opinion. Though I would just focus on my PC then so maybe it wouldn't be too bad!

    After delivering that thorough beat down of Microsoft, I feel this should've been the way that Jack Tretton wrapped it up:

      hahaha i agree... that would have been epic... the crowd reaction was friggin awesome to all the good news

    Well done Sony, i haven't owned a Play station since the PS1 and you have now won me back. Microsoft i loved you, but we are over.

    (I still love nintendo the most but they are in their own world. which is a good thing in my books)

    Just a bit disappointing that online multiplayer will be Pay-to-Play.
    Still, it's trumping the Bone so hard.

      PS+ is pretty good value though.

        Yeah this isn't just paying to play, they bundle so much more content into PS+ than what you get for Gold.

        Edit: Not being an apologist btw. It is a little disappointing, but there's quite a clear silver lining in this case.

        Last edited 11/06/13 2:50 pm

    Microsoft will no doubt spend up big on exclusives, then we will all forget we hate them and kill each other in the rush to get an xbox.

      Your "paid corporate commentor" commission is well earned, but it's all just a bit obvious. Need more spontenaity.

        Nah, I don't figure for paid. I figure him for representing the dark, cynical misanthrope that lives in my head and bitterly thinks the same thing: that gamers will fold like the base of a cheap cooler bag in the face of Halo and other exclusives.

        I won't. My emnity is strong and quite possibly irrational. But I give humanity a lot more credit for sanity and reasonable reactions to things, meaning it's entirely likely that the market in general won't share my ceaselessly smouldering resentment.

          What if Microsoft gets scared of all the negative feedback and announces that they've reversed all their dumb decisions and made the console actually good?

            In a world where that happens? I probably won't need to buy one because Emma Stone will probably use some celebrity voodoo to swing me an early access version as thanks for my skills in the bedroom.

          I respect your point of view and I really hope that the market doesn't just roll over and take it. And you're not insane- it's appropriate to be angry when someone not only announces globally that they're going to attack you, but that they genuinely believe you'll PAY them for the privelage. Suddenly I have visions of punching Micro$soft employees and making their heads explode. Bad me! Bad! Just let them go out of buisness when people do what any sane, well adjusted person would; give these idiots the middle finger and buy from Sony...

      Well, so far there are precisely two games that haven't been announced for PC that I'd consider buying a console to play:

      The Division

      Both are on PS4, and make no mistake: I do NOT like Sony as a company, but I ABSOLUTELY think they have the better product here.

      Microsoft will spend a billion dollars on marketing the xboner.
      That's what they do when they release crappy products like the original Kinect or Windows 8.0.
      That's their solution for everything.

      not me, only way id buy a xbone is a new Banjo kazooie game, Playstation All the way

    Microsoft will turn it round once they realise that they're core audience is gamers. Sony tried for the whole 'entertainment centre' thing with the PS3 and failed. Things only picked up again when they focused back on the gamers. Microsoft will be looking at themselves and quickly realising this. I wouldn't be surprised if they drop the price before launch and try to snap up as many exclusives as possible.

    Regardless though, the launch titles for these consoles are some of the best launch titles seen for a very long time. Watch Dogs and Killzone? I was sold on that even before E3

      It depends on if that is their core audience. The seem to be trying to push their core into the mainstream and with the right partnership with NHL/NFL/NBA they might succeed.

      Microsoft's 'customers' are advertisers and publishers. Gamers are the product.

        This is why I will never buy an Xbox One. It is not about us - the Xbox One is a vehicle for big businesses like EA and ESPN to wank each other off with.

    That image needs to have Playstation logo as Muhammad Ali's head and an Xbox logo on Sonny Liston..

    You know what else I'm waiting for based off of what happened? An E3 version of the Red Wedding from Game of Thrones in GIF form. Hop to it, Internet.

    I'm curious as to the whole preowned situation. Microsoft has confirmed that they are leaving it in the publishers hands, so what happens with multiplatform titles? Do they do what they need to do so the XBONE version can't be traded in and leave it of the PS4 version or what..?

      It'll certainly be an interesting experiment for the publishers. Restrict the fuck out of xbone titles, leave PS4 2nd-hand-tradeable, see what happens to overall profits and analyze the market to see if they got what they paid for from Microsoft.

      Like a real-world experiment on what might happen in two different ecosystems if you were able to eliminate piracy in one of them and see if one pirated copy really does equal one lost sale. (It doesn't. We know that. But it would be interesting to be able to PROVE that. Then they could stop laying blame on bullshit scapegoats and actually fix the problems affecting sales.)

    I think the only thing I'd be missing out on would be that Project Spark, everything else is mostly PC available as well.... so, what Xbox One exclusives were there again?

      Forza 5, Quantam Break, Sunset Overdrive, Dead Rising 3, Killer Instinct and Halo 5 are what I can recall off the top of my head.
      Project Spark is on Windows 8 too, so you're not missing out on that.

      Last edited 11/06/13 2:36 pm

        Right yeah, I forgot the last minute reference to Win8 at the end. Of that list, Halo 5 and Sunset Overdrive for me I guess, so yeah... =/ Quantum Break I'm still a little iffy about because we still didn't see any gameplay. I went ugh over the scene because well, they stopped time to save a woman from an explosion, only to bloody scrape by? Seriously? -_-

          Halo 5 and Sunset Drive are what I'm looking forward to the most too. I want to see more of Quantam Break before I make a decision on that.
          They only had 60 seconds of time pausing. If I were them I sure wouldn't have spent that time talking :P

            Needless to say, the Xbox is quite the hard sell atm for someone like me who is a predominantly PC and Nintendo gamer. Yet again, MS couldn't show that their system can do more than just bloody shooters (half of which are multiplatform as previously mentioned). Sony on the other hand, well let's just say they have a much more well rounded approach, as usual.

    Yep, slam dunk to Sony. I'm getting a PS4. I was worried, because with Nintendo's WiiU being sh!t, and the Xbone actually being an embodiment of (several) attacks on consumers, it looked bleak for this console generation. BUT SONY CAME THROUGH! Good on you guys, you'll be laughing all the way to the bank- along with me, and my money.

    Has anyone else wondered if Sony has deliberately catered for fans, in an attempt to monopolize the market and when Microsoft's console ventures fail there will be no other competitor for Sony? (Yes I know and love my WiiU but it's not going to draw in too many hardcore gamers).

    That said, GO SONY!

      I doubt they'll end up monopolizing the market. MS will still get a market because there are people who will just buy XBox because it's XBox.

      If they do end up dominating, it's not like it'll be because they did something sneaky or underhanded to do it. It's just sensible business decisions - listen to what the market want and give it to them. MS listened to what the corporations want, but forgot that they don't actually buy too many consoles.

    The only negative news about PS4 is the fact that you will need PS+ in order to play games online. But even then, most people have defended that with, "At least the PS+ deals trumps Xbox LIVE Gold deals".

      Fortunately, I give exactly zero cares about multiplayer.

      Yeah, that justification kinda pisses me off. I personally don't give a toss about a bundle of free games I really couldn't be bothered/have time to play - I'd rather keep the dosh and buy what i want. IMO they'd do much better to let you choose your own "free" games.

    I can't help but feel that the conference should have been streamed from pr0n sites rather than gaming sites. Because the last hour was basically just Sony buttf*cking Microsoft. And not the nice, tender, loving kind of buttf*cking. But the really nasty, hard, deep, brutal kind. With a messy finish.

      I thought you were going to say because UStream's stream sucked, so choppy... then I kept reading.

      Get me to my meme making machine and that picture of Wicket the Ewok

      Last edited 11/06/13 3:58 pm

    I'm a long time PC only gamer and I just pre-ordered the PS4.

    Well played Sony. Well played.

    Most spoken phrase in the Microsoft offices today, "Damage Control"

      You have to wonder what MS' next move is don't you? Do they continue down this path of annoying consumers or do they drop the DRM and connect-once-per-day requirements and apologize profusely.

      My money's on keeping the annoying DRM and stuff at least until it starts to bite in to sales.

        Yep. I am 99% sure the ink has dried on that deal and they're stuck with the decision whether they realize it was a mistake or not. Someone got something out of that. It has been promised.

          Exclusive content for FIFA Ultimate Team was the price of their soul, I believe.

    Remember a week or so back?

      I suppose they were hoping Sony presentators would die of laughter.

      He was obviously misquoted. What Davidson actually said was "We will kill ourselves infront of Sony at E3."

      That guy, who made that "We'll kill Sony" comment, was the Director of Global Marketing at Microsoft, and even he didn't see it coming! Clueless! Which just proves how totally out of touch they are. Microsoft Execs are probably still standing around, slapping each others' backs and congratulating themselves on what a good job they did. Why don't you all give yourselves some bonuses too?

    If this is the case then you can expect far more XXBOX exclusives and far better quality titles to make up for the loss this will cause them. Microsoft will of course hit back, don't be so naïve as to declare a winner just yet.

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