Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Features

November 20, 2013

The gaming challenge

New video game consoles face changed landscape

(Continued)

Why does the PlayStation get a slight edge? Price could be one reason. The Xbox One, which includes an updated Kinect motion sensor, will cost $500, which is $100 more than the PlayStation 4. In contrast, the PlayStation 3 went on sale at $500 or $600 depending on the model in November 2006 while the Xbox 360 cost $400. Most new game software will cost $60.

Dan Perkins, a gamer who’s on the fence about which console to buy, says the “price is certainly a factor” nudging him toward a PS4 purchase — even though he was previously an Xbox man.

“I bought the Xbox 360 primarily because I preferred the titles it offered to the PS3. A major contributor to this decision was the ‘Mass Effect’ trilogy, which was initially unavailable on the PS3 at the time of my purchase,” says Perkins, 40, a librarian from Syracuse, N.Y. “Neither platform has the edge on games in my opinion,” he says. “In the end though, a big factor will be which system my friends adopt.”

The friend factor is why Pedro Amador-Gates decided to stick with the Xbox. The 37-year-old first-time father says he did consider switching, but the PlayStation didn’t have a chance. He likes his interface, his username is already set up and his gaming achievements will carry over to the new machine.

“Ninety percent is because I am already established in the Xbox community,” he says.

Then again, neither the Xbox One nor the PlayStation 4 is backward compatible, meaning the machines don’t play games that were made for their predecessors. That gives players a clean slate to start with a whole new set of games.

“Everyone is starting over to some extent,” Stein says.

The console makers’ challenge will be to ensure that everyone does start over, instead of sticking with their own game console or perhaps buying an iPad instead of a new game machine. Tony Bartel, the president of the world’s largest videogame retailer, GameStop, expects the new consoles will be in “high demand and short supply” due to a huge pent-up demand for new gaming. After all, people have been playing the same consoles since before the iPhone came out.

“There’s tremendous demand for innovation,” Bartel says.

Given the choice between an iPad and a PlayStation 4, Sony believes its consoles have an advantage during the holiday shopping season.

“One purchase offers something that everyone in the family can enjoy together,” says Andrew House, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment. “Whereas the other is a single-person experience.”

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