Sony’s PlayStation 4 will go on sale the U.S. and Europe in time for the year-end holiday season and cost US$399, the company announced Monday at its E3 press briefing in Los Angeles.
The pricing of the console is significant because earlier Monday Microsoft announced that its Xbox One console would cost $499 at launch. The PlayStation 4 will cost 349 pounds in the U.K and 399 euros in the rest of Europe.
See a video report of the PlayStation 4 event on YouTube.
Sony focused much of its presentation on exclusive game titles.
“There’s no better way to show the strength of a platform than with the upcoming line up [of games],” said Jack Tretton, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment of America.
The PS4 will support used games and it won’t require an Internet connection to play them, Tretton said to an eruption of cheers and applause from the audience.
“If you enjoy single player offline, then you can do that and it won’t stop working after 24 hours,” he said.
The company also touted its media partnerships and assets making it clear that Sony has a competitive advantage when it comes to content. While Microsoft has to rely on third parties to create content, Sony has already produced and owns the rights to blockbuster films like “Spiderman,” hit television shows like “Breaking Bad” and chart topping songs from Taylor Swift and others.
“Sony is hard at work with a unique programming plan with content that will be available exclusively on PlayStation Network and PlayStation 4,” said Michael Lynton, CEO of Sony Entertainment.
“Sony Pictures will do everything in our power to drive the success of PlayStation 4,” he said.
Sony didn’t mention it, but it would seem likely that the new console would be a good delivery method for 4K content. Sony has been leading the way with 4K displays and already has hardware to deliver content. 4K or Ultra HD is video that is four times the resolution of HD (1920 by 1080 pixels) and is what some see as the next step in content. With the failure of 3D, television manufacturers are hoping 4K will entice consumers to buy new TVs.
The PlayStation 3 is already the number one streaming platform for Netflix, according to the company.
The Japanese company’s presentation didn’t go as smoothly as it would have liked though. During play of “Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag” the game stuttered multiple times and eventually froze. Sony didn’t comment on the mishap and continued with the rest of the presentation without issue.
Sony’s PlayStation 3 launched seven years ago, while Microsoft’s Xbox 360 debuted one year earlier.
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.