Following up on their oddly detail-light press conference a few months back, Sony used their E3 press conference this evening to finally disclose a bunch of important details: the price, a launch window, and, at long last, what the PlayStation 4 will look like.
The PlayStation 4 will launch in the US for $399 “this holiday season”. Alas, that’s as specific as they got regarding the timing.
Microsoft’s Xbox One, meanwhile, will launch in the US in November for $499. This brings the PS4 in at a full one hundred bucks cheaper than the One, with the One already facing its fair share of criticism.
Sony specifically targeted many of the things that the Xbox One has been lampooned for, from its seeming lack of support for independent developers, to its publisher-set restrictions on the selling and trading of used games, to its requirement that gamers periodically connect their consoles to the Internet to authenticate their games. Sony says that the PS4 will have “no restrictions” on used games, and that no PS4 game will require online authentication. Sony just won a lot of fans.
The biggest surprise of the night? Just how similar the PS4 and the Xbox One look, at least from afar. If you don’t follow gaming closely — or if you do, but you’re squinting — it’d be easy to get the two mixed up. Both are jet black, with incredibly sharp angles from edge to edge; the PS4 is just a bit more laid back, with a slight lean to its corners when compared to the Xbox One’s VCR-esque boxiness. If the Xbox One is a rectangular cuboid, the PS4 is a parallelepiped.