Playstation 4 dominates at E3

By Mike on 11:04 am

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I think it's fair to say that a lot of Playstation fanboys are gloating today. Needless to say more than a few Xbox fans are still icing their bottoms to sooth the burn. Sony came up on stage last night and delivered one of the best E3 presentations I've seen in a few years. This is definitely a company who have learned from their mistakes. They delivered exactly what developers and gamers said they wanted. The PS4 is a powerful system where the games, and only the games, matter.

Unfortunately, I missed about the first half hour of the presentation. Perhaps the only big disappointment of the night was the lack of Vita content. There's a new bundle but they did nothing to ease concerns over lack of new content. Of course that quickly got put back of mind when Sony pulled out the black box from underneath the covers.

We had already seen the controller. We knew what that looked like. Now we've seen the system itself. The overall design of it is very reminiscent of the slim PS2. A slightly two toned, matte plastic parallelogram. Unfortunately, we didn't get a booty shot. Sony states that it will have HDMI, optical audio, and gigabit ethernet. Analogue outputs are conspicuously missing though.

For storage, Sony has confirmed that it has a 500GB hard drive, which will be user upgradable. They also took some time to show off the new 720p Playstation Eye. It's slimmer than the Kinect and also has its own auxiliary port, so it won't hog one of the two USB 3.0 slots like the old one did. It will be sold separately for a price of $59.

The PS4 in all its glory. Via Playstation Lifestyle

After showing a few games, Sony dropped the big bomb shell of the night. Jack Tretton took the time to deal with the elephant in the room, and also take a stab at the Xbox One. Gamers were concerned that Sony would be implementing similar digital rights management due to publisher pressure. It's now confirmed that PS4 will operate at the status quo. It does not require an internet connection, nor does it place a ban on used games. You will be able to buy, sell, and trade your games just as you've always been able to. Sony's Brad Douglas also confirmed via Twitter that the PS4 will not be region locked. So you can all stop worrying and start mocking your Xbox fanboy friends. Turns out freedom is cheap too, as the PS4 will retail at $399.

Sony listened, the PS4 requires no online authentication and allows used games
The one downside we did get last night is on the online front. You will now have to buy a Playstation Plus membership to get online. If this is the worst of it, Playstation fans are getting off easy. It will offer the same perks and continue to work across all three platforms. Sony is also promising at least one free PS4 game every month to subscribers. Those who already have PS+ know it pays for itself pretty quickly.

If you're in to streaming services, Sony says they will not be put behind this new pay wall. One of the biggest complaints about the Xbox is it requires a Gold subscription just to watch Netflix.

Sony was rather mum about media content. Playstation is working closer with Sony Pictures and BMG to improve things on that side. American gamers will also get access to Red Box Instant.

Sony is also integrating more cloud features via their Gaikai game streaming service. You will be able to stream Playstation 3 games to your PS4. So those concerned about backwards compatibility need not worry too much. What Sony did not mention were pricing plans for Gaikai, or if it will be included with your PS+ subscription. Unfortunately, the service will only be available in the US initially.

Right now, the Xbox One isn't looking very good by comparison. Though I would not count them out just yet. There's still a chance for them to backtrack on their planned restrictions. Unfortunately, Microsoft allowed a full six months of negative publicity to build up. It's going to take an awful lot to reverse that, and win their customers back. Right now, Sony has resoundingly stomped them. We asked for it, they gave it. As it stands today, the PS4 is the best eighth generation system right now.

We'll start looking at the PS4's game lineup a little later this week.

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