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E3 2013 Report: Microsoft and Sony’s Conference

E3 Logo

I should note that I have been covering the E3 for several years and I have thought I saw it all. I was on hand at the unveiling of the original Xbox and I had even been the first to touch the Dual Shock controller when PlayStation 2 first came out. I was even the first to touch the PSP as a Sony rep noticed that I was on the verge of drooling on it, which would have been embarrasing.

Yet nothing prepared me or my gaming colleages, as we sat in our seats at two very different ground-breaking events on Day 1 of E3 2012. In one event, we got to see what Microsoft had to offer with its Xbox One as they finally put to rest all the rumors as well as the price tag itself. In another stage, we witnessed as Sony gave us a generous look at the PlayStation 4 and all the things we can expect from this new console.

Since the Microsoft conference was first, we will dive right into all the things that were revealed including the fact that the console really does require an “always on” online connection. The reasoning behind this is that the Xbox One is a constantly updating and evolving console that will keep your game or other content updated so you won’t be interrupted by constant massages that tell you to update your console. Depending on your internet connection, this might not sit well with all gamers.

Then there’s the used game debacle that will literally make buying used games a pain in the rear. We’re told you can share your game with a friend but even that will have a limit. Forget renting Xbox One titles from GameFly because that too will be a thing of the past.

Microsoft Points are out so everything will be handled with real money like the Sony PlayStation Store but there will still be Trophies.

Since this is a gaming site, we will not mention the television, music and movies aspect of the console, which Microsoft is pushing on us. We’re all about the games and the Xbox One will not disappoint with exlusive titles like a new Halo  and Dead Rising game but also third-party games like a new Need for Speed and Dragon Age: Inquisition.

What about the price tag, you might ask? The Xbox One will sell for $499 and that will include a wireless controller and the new Kinect and the console that pushes all the hardware that was revealed to us during Microsoft’s event not too long ago.

As of this writing, Game Stop is already accepting pre-orders.

SONY CONFERENCE

It wasn’t until 6PM Pacific time that we got a chance to see what Sony had in store for us with the PlayStation 4. The event ran late but it was well worth it seeing as Sony did not disappoint in the very least in showing us the power of the PlayStation 4.

Sure, there were plenty of PlayStation 3 titles discussed at the event, including the fact that the original Kingdom Hearts will be re-released in an HD package for the PS3. Speaking of Kingdom Hearts, SquareEnix gave us a teaser of another game in this beloved Final Fantasy/Disney franchise. On top of that, SquareEnix also gave us a lenghty peek at Final Fantasy XV, which had us on the edge of our seats.

Playing it smart, Sony pushed its exclusives first, including the fact that the PS4 will be home to new game developers as well as indie games. We were then treated to a good look at Infamous: Second Son and Killzone: Shadow Fall. We were also hinted at Diablo III and even Star Wars Battlefront. There was also a live demo of Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag as well as Watch Dogs.

Sony also made it loud and clear that they are not following Microsoft’s model. For starters, you can buy and play used games without a penalty. Go ahead and sell your PS4 games and buy them without worry. Also, the console does not require an always present online connection. There’s just one hook, however, the online multiplayer portion that has always been free for PlayStation 3 owners will not be free on PS4. Multiplayer will be handled via a PlayStation Plus membership that will include all the benefits of the PlayStation Plus service.

How much will the console cost? The PlayStation 4 will retail at $399 and that includes the console (that looks like the Xbox One only on the slightly slanted side), the new Dual Shock controller and the new PlayStation Eye.

While both consoles are available for pre-order now through Amazon and Game Stop, the actual consoles will be on store shelves this November. Check out our Advertisement link to make your pre-order now from Game Stop.

OVERALL THOUGHTS

In my opinion, both consoles have a lot to offer gamers but – personally speaking – I felt that Sony’s PlayStation 4 has more than met my expectations to the point that I feel that it will be the “winner.” Why? It’s not just the price, which is $100 cheaper than the Xbox One but because Sony’s console is looking to be more gamer centric than the Xbox One that has its eye on showcasing the console as a complete entertainment package.

There will be more news as soon as we get it but we will certainly let you all know what we think as we finally get our hands on both consoles and the games the showroom floor will display.

– Eduardo Zacarias
Editor-in-Chief