Xbox One pricing paves way for Sony PS4 success

Xbox One's price, $100 more than PS4, and potentially restrictive DRM hurt the console's outlook

By , IDG News Service |  Personal Tech

At Sony's press event the crowd erupted into cheers and applause when Jack Tretton, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America, announced that the company would stick to the status quo allowing gamers to trade, sell, lend or keep disc-based games.

"When a gamer buys a PS4 disc, they have the rights to use that copy of the game," Tretton said on stage. "In addition, PlayStation 4 disc-based games don't need to be connected online to play."

"That will probably leave a little bit more money in gamers' pockets and it will remove the complexity around how many versions I can give to my friend,'" Ward said.

The lack of DRM in Sony's plans might thrill gamers, but not necessarily game developers and publishers, he said.

"You could say Microsoft took one for the team," he said. "If they limit the resale then it may force more people to buy a new disc and at the end of the day that's how they make their money."

Sony's aim is to convert current PlayStation 3 owners to PS4 buyers, Ward said. Making inroads in North America and stealing Xbox 360 gamers or prospective Xbox One customers would be "huge," he said.

"If Sony really wants to emerge as the leader in the eighth-generation console race, they're going to have to take away momentum from Microsoft beginning this holiday season in North America."

From 2005 until the end of 2012, 250 million seventh-generation consoles were sold between Sony's PlayStation 3, Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Nintendo's Wii, according to IDC. The Wii was a runaway with nearly 100 million units sold, but second and third place were much closer. Microsoft shipped 76 million consoles, while Sony 75 million.

Nick Barber covers general technology news in both text and video for IDG News Service. E-mail him at Nick_Barber@idg.com and follow him on Twitter at @nickjb.

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