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Likely as another shot at Microsoft, Sony has confirmed that PS Plus will not be required for PlayStation 4 users interested in using the social aspects, entertainment apps, or auto-updates. Xbox 360 users will know that Xbox Live Gold is required for Netflix, Hulu, and social aspects of the console.
It's possible that streaming PlayStation 3 games to the PS4 may require PS Plus, but it seems like that is still up in the air. Unlike the PlayStation 3 which required PS Plus for automatic updates, PlayStation 4 users will find that they get this feature for free.
It seems like some of the PS Plus details for the PlayStation 4 are still under discussion inside the company and are subject to change. This would explain why Sony has detailed the system and PS Plus fully. PS Plus will apply across the PlayStation 3 and 4 for no extra charge.
The true next-gen consoles were fully unveiled in the last couple of weeks in the form of Sony's PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's Xbox One, but Nintendo's Wii U is still here, right now - but sales aren't doing well.
Gamers have been hoping for Nintendo to drop the price on the Wii U, but during an interview with VentureBeat last week, Nintendo marketing executive Scott Moffit said that Nintendo have "no plans to change the price of the Wii U." He added that the Wii U is "great value" for gamers, expecting sales to increase once some shiny new Nintendo games are released - such as Mario, Zelda and Super Smash Bros.
Microsoft has taken to the web to defend its $499 price point for the upcoming Xbox One. Many have faulted Microsoft's price point as it is $100 more than the PlayStation 4, which is believed to have more powerful hardware and fewer drawbacks such as always-on DRM requirements.
We're over-delivering value against other choices I think consumers can get. Any modern product these days, you look at it: $499 isn't a ridiculous price point. We're delivering thousands of dollars of value to people, so, I think they're going to love [the console] when they use it.
I'm not fully versed in the economics of the console market, but it's possible that an extra $100 might not be enough to turn away customers. Also an important factor in console choice is what games each console has as exclusives. Microsoft has an uphill battle ahead of them.
Microsoft has confirmed that games for the upcoming Xbox One will continue to cost the usual $60 that everyone has become accustomed to. This is the same price that Sony plans to offer games at. Of course, this price is only confirmed for first-party games developed by Microsoft Studios.
I can confirm that Microsoft Studios games on Xbox One will be $59.99 (MSRP)
Sony America CEO Jack Tretton: "We're going to welcome free-to-play models, games from $.99 up to those $60 games."
It would be hard for third-party companies to price their games higher, though it certainly is possible. Microsoft is in need of some good press with many seeing the Windows giant as having lost the console wars. Microsoft will continue needing good press in the lead up to the Xbox One launch later this year.
I think the line in the sand has been drawn with next-gen consoles, but just how far back as Microsoft been pushed? Well, according to a poll run by Amazon on their Facebook page, Microsoft are really losing this war, by a long shot.
They asked readers which next-gen console they prefer, the PS4 or the Xbox One and the results are absolutely huge. The PS4 has 31,689 votes and the Xbox One has just 1,754 votes - yes that is not a mistake. Of course, this doesn't mean that the PS4 is going to be 20x more popular, or make 20x the sales - but this is an interesting statistic. This doesn't mean the Xbox One is finished, but it'll be interesting to see where things sit in a couple of years from now.
All I know is that I would've bought an Xbox One on launch if there was a killer app, but nothing I've seen makes me want one. The built-in Kinect sensor being always-on kind of turns me off, and isn't something I want sitting in my house. I like that Sony at least gives you the option, which is definitely the right move.
The final box art for the next-gen consoles has been released by Microsoft and Sony. It doesn't look too bad at all, but I think Microsoft can at least have props for having the better box art this generation. First up, we have the Xbox One box:
Not bad, eh? Nice and to the point, with a great shot of the controller on the side. The PlayStation 4 box art we have below:
I think we have a lot of wasted space on the left side - and just a quick tease of the console. I'd really like to see an up-close shot of the PS4 instead of the floating shapes. Oh well, that's not my job now, is it? What are your thoughts on the box art of the next-gen consoles?
Microsoft are having to go into some serious damage control post-E3 2013, as the Xbox One is really losing steam with gamers. Xbox Live director of programming, Major Nelson, took to Reddit in r/games and during an interview answered the following question:
After the Xbox One servers are shut down at the end of the new generation, will Xbox One games still be playable?
Interesting question, which should have an interesting answer, right? Well, Nelson answered with:
I'll just say this: We haven't even started this generation, so it's kind of early to talk about the end of the generation. That's certainly something we would not do. That's not the way the system is designed. It's designed for flexibility. But let's get the system out there first.
This is Microsoft talking now, but what about in 5 or 10 years time? The Xbox 360 games can't be played on the Xbox One, which is kinda of sucky for people who have pumped thousands of dollars into their current console. I guess we'll see in a few years time, but right now I have no confidence in Microsoft. Especially if your account gets banned you lose your games...
Microsoft have just dug a few more inches of their own grave for the Xbox One by stating that if you get banned from Xbox Live on the new Xbox One, you'll also "forfeit the licenses to any games that have licenses tired to it as listed in the ToU."
This means that if you get banned, you're pretty much handing over your physical discs to Microsoft. Of course, not everyone gets banned - but this is actually quite serious as you're having physical media get banned from the XBL service altogether. Microsoft, whatever you're smoking, you could make more money selling that than you will with the Xbox One.
We know that Sony 'won' the next-gen console war at E3 this year with their PlayStation 4, but it looks like this strong surge in interest might hurt consumers' dreams when it comes to purchasing a PS4 on day one.
Sony Computer Entertainment CEO, Andrew House, has said that PS4 "demand may well outstrip supply" after the huge presence the next-gen console made in the last week. He spoke with the Wall Street Journal where he said that Sony have raised their internal sales forecasts for the PS4 after the supremely positive feedback by tech sites, consumers and retails over the last week.
If you're living in a country where the Xbox One doesn't launch in at the end of the year and were thinking of importing, you might have to cancel those plans. It looks like Microsoft's next-gen console won't be supported in countries that it hasn't launched in yet, meaning imports are out of the question.
The question was tackled through Xbox Support through Twitter, where Gregor Ivezic asked if the "Xbox One will block activation of games if outside of the IP range of a supported country" to which @XboxSupport2 answered with "You'll be able to play when you return home. I travel with an Xbox 360 for road gaming."
The problem is, Japan isn't even getting the console at the end of the year, which is going to piss off a lot of Japanese gamers. It looks like Sony are going to be winning a huge war on this front, with the PlayStation 4 being region-free and all. "