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back to article Sony sucker-punches Xbox on price, specs, DRM-free gaming

Microsoft may not have been listening to the rumbling of discontent over some of the new "features" coming with Xbox One, but Sony certainly has. Sony's new PlayStation 4 'It's the games, stupid' Sony unveiled the new PS4 console at this week's E3 gamers conference in Los Angeles, and it undercuts Redmond Xbox One by $100, …

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Well done Sony.

Didn't think I'd say that.

Just because MSFT want to exercise absolute control of the hardware and legitimate software that you pay your hard earned money for, it doesn't mean it is right to follow suit, 'because others are doing it'.

I have an Xbox 360 and a PS3. Like the PS3 more and am far more likely to get the PS4 than the Xbox One.

As Eadon might put it, MSFT FAIL!!! **froth froth**

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Thumb Up

Re: Well done Sony.

They had to do it. With both the rootkit fiasco and the OtherOS controversy, they managed to piss off a lot of people, and when they dismissed the latter group, the PS3 got cracked in a matter of months. Up until then, they could proudly say that the PS3 couldn't run pirated games and thus was pirate-proof. Oh, and then they had the PSN hacked as well. Back then, it seemed they didn't get the message, as OtherOS never came back. But it seems they did, to some amount.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has been trying to replicate Apple's "the customer does as we tell him" attitude and it shows. They've managed to piss off far more people than Sony ever did: while OtherOS users were a very vocal minority, the demographics annoyed by game sharing bans is far larger. It's even dumber as they can't even hide behind the anti-piracy all-justifying flag that Sony had with OtherOS. MSFT is all about banning legally purchased games from being passed down or resold. Hopefully, they'll stand their ground and have the XBone crash & burn. A massive fail needs to be put as a warning to others...

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Re: Well done Sony.

Sony have done a lot of crap in the past and I'm one of those folks that was really pissed about OtherOS. Today's shenanigans however come dangerously close to making Sony look like a decent company. In a dim light. With poor vision.

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Re: Well done Sony.

The Xbox one idea of digital sales limited resale ect could go 2 ways.

Positive:- we get a "Steam" type offering with lower cost games and great sales with some pro owned market style stuff on both our Physical and Digital titles, and lets face it will that be different on the Steam box when that comes out?

Negative:- we get gouged and have to pay £50+ for games we cannot resale.

If the forma happens it could be good for Microsoft and us gamers and lets face it who in general doesn't like steam? Or the Latter that could end badly for Microsoft

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Well done Sony.

WOW, look at the size differences...

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Rwg_MN5y1cw/UbiVxJ2ztJI/AAAAAAAAKNQ/7aMuUyYpHzs/w697-h622-no/SizeMatters.jpg

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hmmm....sony doing something good ?

seems somewhat unusual

i thesedays avoid sony like the plague, generally being fed up with the proprietary crap they have dumped on me over the years, from connections, plugs, software etc

So this does seem somewhat out of character

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Anonymous Coward

Re: hmmm....sony doing something good ?

Just be careful that none of the games install a rootkit.

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Bronze badge
FAIL

Re: hmmm....sony doing something good ?

How droll... How very, very droll... Do change the CD every once in a while. Assuming that you still use Rootkit infected CDs that is...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: hmmm....sony doing something good ?

Sony never apologised and until the execs responsible face trial for orchestrating a global cyber-attack; I will not buy Sony and I sill not permit what Sony did to be forgotten.

If you are so happy to be screwed over, go buy an Xbox One.

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MJI
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Re: hmmm....sony doing something good ?

Back to old Sony rather than media Sony

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Re: hmmm....sony doing something good ?

Well, AC there pretty much answers what I was wondering. If Sony are being lauded for not being asses about DRM and connectivity, and people are swearing off the XBone, what does this mean for gamers who vowed never to buy anything from Sony again after their treatment of George Hotz? After all, it'll be a while before CoD is out on the Wii...

It's almost like good cop / bad cop only nobody can remember who's who...

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Ru
Facepalm

Re: hmmm....sony doing something good ?

Just be careful that none of the games install a rootkit.

Er, you mean those games that will be running on an operating system written by Sony, on hardware designed by Sony, the terms of use of which will be entirely dictated by Sony?

Rootkits are for use on systems you don't control.

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Anonymous Coward

Thank you Sony

If I wasn't a PC gamer I'd probably buy a PS4. I may even buy one anyway, because I despise Microsoft that much.

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WMA

Just imagine what the state of music would be if Apple hadn't introduced the iPod. At that time, pretty much every mp3 player would do mp3 and wma. If Microsoft had cornered the market, we'd be looking at the same draconian DRM restrictions as they are now trying to foist on their game controllers. So kudos to Sony for sticking it to the (sweaty) Man.

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Re: WMA

>Just imagine what the state of music would be if Apple hadn't introduced the iPod. At that time, pretty much every mp3 player would do mp3 and wma.

Without Apple, Sony might have been the company to create the first high-end cum mass-market HDD audio player... if so, we'd have been using ATRAC and SonicStage (shudder). But yeah, I take your point: Apple became big enough to dictate terms to music publishers regarding DRM. I like them for that, just as I do for standing out against Flash, and for advocating 16:10 laptops.

Sony's new tablet works with Dualshock3 controllers out of the box, and it is easier to get the same Sony DS3 controller to work with a PC than it is a wireless Xbox controller (it requires a dongle).

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Re: WMA

They are trying for PlaysForSure* 2.0

I'm sure they will be just as quick to stiff their customers and turn off the servers when they feel like it.

*

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_PlaysForSure

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Linux

Re: WMA

Just imagine what the state of the mobile industry would be if Google hadn't funded the development of Android. At that time, pretty much every decent touchscreen phone was an Apple phone that wouldn't play DRM free and patent free formats such as ogg vorbis and theora. If Apple had cornered the market they'd look next into Apple games consoles and we'd be looking at the same draconian DRM/codec/app restrictions that they apply to their phones.

Sony aren't sticking it to the (sweaty) man, they're just competing for customers. Look at the HDDVD/Blu-ray war. I had both players and I can tell you that HDDVD should have won from a "what's best for the consumer" point of view as the players were faster to play, cheaper, the format was complete. Instead they teamed up with some big studios and forced us to use slow players with compatibility and load speed problems.

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FAIL

Re: WMA

Its only easier if your Netbook/Laptop/Tablet/Phone has built-in Bluetooth. None of my PCs have it, and so would also require a Dongle of some description. So... (See Icon)

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MJI
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Re: WMA

BluRay holds more data 25GB per layer rather than 15GB

My BluRay player loads pretty fast

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Anonymous Coward

Re: HDDVD/Blu-ray war

Did bluray actually win? I know very few people who actually buy bluray disks (probably for the reasons you point out. DRM is the show stopper for me) Everyone just uses pirate mt2s files now, (often converted to BD5 or 9 disks). They play instantly on Mac, PC, Linux, media players etc. If BD9s were available commercially (without DRM) I'd buy them. As it is I do try to buy the corresponding DVDs, (when they get cheap enough.)

But the studios shouldn't be too upset at the prospect of losing money from me, because I have just realized that the money I used to spend on full price DVDs, now goes on the cinema. (five times in the last two months)

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Devil

Re: WMA

> BluRay holds more data 25GB per layer rather than 15GB

>

> My BluRay player loads pretty fast

My latest home theatre speaker system comes with an embedded BluRay player. All it took was paying a spinny disk directly JUST ONCE to cure me of any interest in doing that again.

My HTPC doesn't just "load pretty fast". It does so instantly.

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MJI
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Re: WMA

Blu Ray loading speed.

Takes just a few seconds, you know to actually read it

DVD players and CD players are the same

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Mushroom

Re: WMA

DVD and CD players aren't the same. They are far less bloated. They aren't weighted down with all of the nonsense that a BluRay player has to deal with.

A BluRay player is an entire patchable DRM platform. It's also a java interpreter as that crap was also added to the BluRay spec too.

Whereas a PC playing a file is going to need to deal with less bullsh*t.

Even a proper DVD player is going to involve less bullsh*t.

Plus, with an HTPC I don't have to deal with anyone's funky menus. One interface to rule them all.

The BluRay format is like a kick in the balls to consumers.

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g e
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FAIL

"XBOX Vista" already dead?

Given that the new XBOX is essentially a totally new machine with zero backward compatibility (at least PS4 will have something via Gaikai) and has all the control freakery going on then there's nothing to tempt 360 users into its ecosystem, even 2 years down the line as secondhand games bundled with secondhand consoles will be pointless.

Unless you're a confirmed SONY hater or an utter XBOX fanbod the PS4 just seems like the sane choice of where to put your cash. I know I won't be getting an XBOX One - probably ever, I'll leave that experience with my 360 - but I think I might just grab a PS4.

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JDX
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Re: "XBOX Vista" already dead?

Except that to many players, having to phone home every day is inconsequential as it will always be online through WiFi.

The 2nd-hand game issue is the thing which could scupper MS, but I'm not convinced of that... yet.

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Holmes

I'm Alright Jack

" inconsequential as it will always be online through WiFi."

I take it you have not moved house recently and had that wonderful email/text from Open Reach(around) saying "your appointment has been rescheduled to 1 month after we agreed to install your broadband, don't like it? tough titty on you fish face!"

This is a big issue for people that work overseas, people in the armed services serving abroad, students studying away from home (despite the rosy vision the BT adverts make their service out to be) that move digs every now and then, and those of us that live in the middle of nowhere and have spotty "broadband"

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Re: I'm Alright Jack

Or your pole getting struck by lightning which in turn damaged your ISP's distribution point in the neighborhood, taking your modem,and router with it. Then having to wait almost 2 weeks after you get a new modem to get back online as the ISP can't figure out what the issue is cause you keep getting people in the phillipines that can't veer off the script to do actual troubleshooting. Like happened to me a lil over 2 weeks ago. I would have been screwed if I had an Xbox one.

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SBH
Stop

Re: "XBOX Vista" already dead?

Is still have a N64 which is still hooked up to my TV, it's old tech but every now and then I get to play Mario 64 and Goldeneye and enjoy it - even after all these years.

The servers the Xbox One has to contact will eventually be turned off and the console will no longer function.

I don't think it is inconsequential this is blatant anti-consumerism

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Unhappy

Re: "XBOX Vista" already dead?

I know that feel every few years I pull out the old PC Engine and troll though my collection of old Games. They sadly just don't make 'em like that anymore... T_T

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Re: "XBOX Vista" already dead?

"The servers the Xbox One has to contact will eventually be turned off and the console will no longer function."

Very similar to Nintendos channels on the Wii. We noticed that in the later part of 2013, there was a lack of newer games coming out for the original Wii (Skylanders Swap Force for example) where it is Wii-U only.

In addition to that, we had notification that certain channels (Weather etc) were being switched off as the servers were being switched off.

For new games, I was looking at an Xbox360 due to the massive back-catalog that you can get for £10-£15 per game but am holding off now and will get a PS4 probably after Christmas once a good selection of games are out. The whole internet, privacy issues on XboxOne had put me off as had the 2nd hand game market.

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Ru
Trollface

Re: "XBOX Vista" already dead?

Except that to many players, having to phone home every day is inconsequential as it will always be online through WiFi.

And for all those naysayers who lack a convenient internet connection, I'm sure a handy phone-based system can be cobbled together where you just have to phone up a call centre once a day and enter a handy 36-character authentication code into your console and everything will carry on working just fine.

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Re: I'm Alright Jack

My phone line died almost 6 weeks ago and therefore my ADSL broadband with it.

Due to starting a new job I haven't wanted to take time off unpaid and I wasn't ready to be working from home until recently so I've just had to live with it. I finally managed to work from home last week and the engineer decided not to bother turning up. I'm trying again tomorrow and will hopefully get it all back at last.

There is not a chance in hell that I would buy a console that absolutely required a network connection to play a single-player game, permanently, frequent or otherwise.

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Re: "XBOX Vista" already dead?

"Very similar to Nintendos channels on the Wii. "

Not really. Even when all support is ended for the Wii and all servers switched off it will still play games from the discs that you have bought. Even if Nintendo closed down tomorrow it would still do something. The Xbox One without online verification is a door stop. The blue rays become expensive drinks coasters.

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FAIL

Re: I'm Alright Jack

Or take your console away with you to a holiday home that has no landline, no tv signal, no phone signal, but you might like to watch some dvds or play a few games some evenings.

Or maybe your console isn't connected and on all the time, and you just want to play a few games, but the broadband is out and you haven't turned the console on all week.

etc. etc.

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MIc
Megaphone

Re: "XBOX Vista" already dead?

you're sooooo right. I mean XBOX one sold out on amazon in four hours....... Wait...

A quote from Amazon:

“We were thrilled by the unprecedented demand we saw for Xbox One today. In the first four hours of preorder availability, we sold through most of our Xbox One Day One Edition inventory. Customers eager to get an Xbox One should visit our store at Amazon.com/xboxone to ensure they keep up-to-date on the latest information. We are excited to be working with Microsoft to deliver the next generation of games and entertainment,” said John Love, the director of U.S. video games and software at Amazon.

Read more at http://venturebeat.com/2013/06/10/xbox-one-amazon-preorders-almost-completely-sell-out-within-four-hours/#3dUCAbFy2Y7wDlcI.99

http://www.examiner.com/article/xbox-one-day-one-bundle-sold-out-on-amazon-after-day-one-of-pre-order-sales

http://venturebeat.com/2013/06/10/xbox-one-amazon-preorders-almost-completely-sell-out-within-four-hours/

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Meh

Re: "XBOX Vista" already dead?

The N64 already 15 years old. Think about how much technology has evolved sincd 1996. Imagine having to locate and configure a primitive 802.11n router just to play an Xbox One. And are they really going to keep their authentication servers online for 15+ years?

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Re: "XBOX Vista" already dead?

Not that true, in the UK in rural places the internet is shoddy at best, crap most of the time and appalling frequently.

I am a PC gamer but my Xbox catalogue are all second hand, because I don't want and can't be bothered to buy full priced games of such poor quality. (The ports to PC are enough to make me realise I don't want to) And given nearly all the big names are simply sequals I just can't risk £35+ when buying on the basis that Halo34 is worthy..

Kids won't care but parents might, and given the way the economy is, second hand markets are very very important for a lot of families.

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JDX
Gold badge

Re: "XBOX Vista" already dead?

You guys don't get it. Sure, moving house or if your ISP going down are a PITA but people are not going to make a decision on which console to buy based on the one which will work when they move house, something they do perhaps every couple of years. Most people won't even think of this fact when buying (tech-savvy people are like 1% of console owners) and even if they do, it's not the big issue. It's like saying nobody will take out a Netflix/Spotify subscription because they won't be able to watch TV or listen to music after they move house... it's an inconvenience (I just moved house!) but people still use those services.

All the people who use their PCs and PS4s to play online games won't be able to play them for two weeks either, but I've never read a review of a multiplayer-focused game which marksa game down because you can't play it after you move house.

As for dodgy internet... phoning home is not using a lot of data, it's just logging in.

And if it's really an issue... just run your phone as a MiFi for a few minutes.

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Anonymous Coward

Wait for proof

Having already blacklisted Sony based on their DRM and un-user friendly software policies, I will be waiting to see them deliver on this before even thinking of investing more in this area.

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Meh

Re: Wait for proof

Indeed, apparently, Sony has let slip that all the DRM measures to enable the same or similar system as the Xbox One are there in the PS4.

It's just that they will let the developers choose to enable it or not. Hmmmmmm.

So we could well see it happen in the future.

I expect to see a few U-turns from both Sony and MS before Xmas.

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MJI
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Re: Wait for proof

But Sony are not operating it, and is basically the same as the passes we have now

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Pricing FAIL

Once again Sony why is it 40% more in Australia? ($549)

Thieving ba$%#&s.

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JDX
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Re: Pricing FAIL

Perhaps because of import duties? Perhaps because you live so far away from the rest of us?

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Re: Pricing FAIL

have you forgotten where Australia is? a darn sight closer to where they make the PS4 that we are ;)

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Silver badge

Re: Pricing FAIL

"have you forgotten where Australia is? a darn sight closer to where they make the PS4 that we are ;)"

Yes, but you're forgetting the wasteful stupidity of corporate logistics. Most likely they'll ship the consoles from China all the way across the Pacific to sit in a warehouse in Los Angeles for some US wronk to sign off on, then ship them all the way back across the Pacific to us, resulting in them being transported the equivalent of a lap of the equator.

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Re: Pricing FAIL

JDX - Australian Import Duties on electronic goods: 0%

- GST 10%

Shipping cost is around $0.40 per unit based on investigations by Choice magazine.

Profit percentage is WAY up - the bulk of Australian market is well trained in being shafted on imports. For example PS3 games have a retail price of $120 here, as the Australian dollar increased in value by 60% the price didn't alter at all.

The same happens with all other goods, especially cars. We're a cash cow for international companies and import wholesalers. The increased efficiency of a global market has only meant increased profits shipped out of the country.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Pricing FAIL

Don't blame stupidity for what can be explained by greed.

Check out MSDN pricing. No physical product involved.

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Re: Pricing FAIL

I hear it's not region-locked. If this is true I may end up importing one later on as the local pricing is just ridiculous.

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Not yet

I still haven't forgiven Sony for disabling Linux support on the PS3. My device had it, and I used it (although it wasn't *that* great). Made a decent platform for MAME though.

I got the PS3 as a lapsed gamer (Dreamcast and PC), and frankly I'm still lapsed. I guess I have other ways to entertain myself these days.

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