With gamers still smarting over the company’s $499 pricing announcement for the Xbox One, the head of the Xbox division has ruffled more feathers in addressing concerns about the system’s demand for a internet connection.
Phil Spencer, general manager of Microsoft Game Studios, announced Monday that Microsoft’s next generation console would be available in November—at a price of $499. And almost immediately, the air went out of the room.
An annual study by the Entertainment Software Assn finds that time spent watching television and going to the movies are two of the areas people who are playing more games are most willing to sacrifice in lieu of interactive entertainment.
The House that Mario Built focused on power franchises at an intimate pre-E3 media event, eschewing big announcements to focus on six games coming this holiday season and in 2014.
Sony did something very un-Sony like at its E3 press conference this year: it went into ferocious attack mode, identifying every one of the Xbox One’s perceived weaknesses and exploiting them.
And in the process, it earned some new fans. Lots of them.
Megafranchises like “Call of Duty” and “Assassin’s Creed” have been at or near the top—with family friendly “Just Dance” not too far behind when the final rankings come in. And the midyear check typically doesn’t show a lot of divergence from that pattern.
Reflecting the focus of this year’s show, EA instead spotlighted titles for the new consoles from Microsoft and Sony, showcasing a pair of new graphics engines that are meant to showcase the graphical advances of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
Sony announced a $399 price point for the PlayStation 4 at a pre-E3 press conference, $100 cheaper than Microsoft’s Xbox One.
While the back half of 2013 is expected to boast breakout hits, the first part of the year hasn’t been encouraging for the videogame industry. Retail sales are down 14%, falling nearly $500 million year over year through April.
On the heels of Microsoft’s announcement that the Xbox One would be priced at $499, Sony has confirmed that the PS4 will cost $399, a full $100 less. It’s due out this holiday.