Much has been made about next gen console prices, hardware, and game offerings. Much has been debated about which brand is the frontrunner this time around. Much has been criticized and much has been loved. So I have combed through polls, comment threads, and from seeing the reactions of gaming juggernauts who are being forced to pick sides.
Sony announced a price of $399 for their next console while Microsoft stated $499 for theirs. While yes there is a price difference the reality is that Playstations price will slowly balloon as new add-on components become available. Microsoft simply bundled everything into one price bracket and is sticking at that price. Out of the box Microsofts console has everything set and ready to go. Sony has announced a slew of products for the Playstation so clearly they have the intention of selling you the entire experience at a considerable higher price.
Playstation while always elegant seems to have really avoided taking a risk with their fanbase. They have tried to sell this next console as "a gaming experience" but all you get is a controller and a console. What about the other members of the household who do not play games? What about the mother who buys the system for her kid and perhaps would like to get some usage out of the expensive tech she just purchased for her kid? This is where Microsoft holds the cards, and no Kinnect does not have to be on at all if you don't wish it to be. Yet with the inclusion of Kinnect your living room is transformed into "A SMART SPACE". This makes it attractive for the entire family. It seems that Microsoft has invested heavily in turning the unboxing experience in front of said family into an experience itself. The involvement of the scanning of the family members to mom's, dads, wives, husbands, neighbors being scanned for the first time into a system is quite the experience. It also seems that by the time the family is through with the set up even the most technologically challenged member of the household will be an expert in how to use the system. That's a pretty amazing feat if you ask me...apparently the experience is very very fun. Replacing several devices in your living room in the process is mighty atractive as well. Who knows Sony may have a trick up their sleeve but unless they have something my youngest and eldest relatives can enjoy as equally and as easily..well Microsoft wins that battle.
Listen the entire pay a fee for used games fiasco is just that. In order to get exclusives you have to negotiate with the game creators. There is a reason Microsoft was able to pull in as many exclusives for the first year alone. Microsoft is giving us many just as pretty games but many of those games are cross platform, what Sony isn't giving us is the experience on their console at the same rate nor in many cases at all. I cannot justify investing into something where someone else is able to play a game or dlc months before I can and completely spoil the content for me. Sony frankly hurt themselves in the last generation and the gamers on their platform will pay for it for a while. Microsoft has more money to invest into game development and studios. In some cases Microsoft hijacked game franchises which were Playstation exclusive and turned them into Xbox exclusives. The fact remains this generation console being a failure and a loss of money could easily spell the death knell of sony gaming. Taking a look at the financials of both companies during the past 8 or so years reveals who can survive and who cannot if their console stumbles. I'll just sum it up in saying that the studios care about money, investors, and star power all which microsoft has heavily dedicated themselves to.