June 11 - Sony takes on Microsoft, pricing its new PS4 below Xbox One. Fred Katayama reports.
Like a boxer in its video games, Sony punched back at Microsoft, pricing its new PlayStation 4 console at $399 -- $100 less than the new Xbox One. Sony made the move on the eve of the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles where we caught up with Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Jack Tretton. SOUNDBITE: JACK TRETTON, PRESIDENT AND CEO, SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT AMERICA, (ENGLISH), SAYING: "The price point was something we gave a lot of consideration to and also that value message for consumers and to think if that reaction is any indication, then we really hit the bulls-eye in terms of positive reaction from consumers." Sony drew more cheers when it said the PS4 would run used games and that gamers would not need to be connected online to play. Xbox has drawn criticism for its restrictions on used games and its requirement that players log online. Sony's stock rose more than 2 percent in Tokyo on a down day for the overall market. The videogame business is seen as one of the keys to turning around the company's electronics business. Macquarie Equities Research analyst Damian Thong said, "We now think Sony and its PS4 have the edge over Microsoft's Xbox One.The PS4 offers gamers a more powerful machine at $100 cheaper than the Xbox One..." Globally, Xbox and PlayStation are nearly even in sales. Thong says he now expects Sony to gain share at the expense of Microsoft and Nintendo. But with more people regularly playing games on tablets and smartphones than on consoles, some pundits wonder whether there will even be a next-generation PlayStation or Xbox.