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How Sony dinged Microsoft at Gamescom

india Updated: Aug 21, 2013 17:36 IST
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PlayStation boss Andy House ribbed Xbox rivals with some choice quotes during the PlayStation 4 launch date announcement.

"While others have shifted their message and changed their story," said Sony Computer Entertainment's President and CEO, to whoops from the Gamescom audience, "we were consistent in maintaining policies and a model that is fair and in tune with consumer desires."

The jibe refers to the stormy path weathered by the Xbox One, which has altered its approach to mandatory online check-ins, used game sales, and compulsory use of the Kinect camera amid vocal consumer complaints throughout the year.

Senior PlayStation executives were also able to confirm that the PS4 console would launch in 32 countries this year, a dig at Microsoft's plans for a 13-country Xbox One launch, downscaled from the initial 21.

Sony's mischevious President of Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida, even posted a cheeky tweet: "('-') .o0 (32 > 13)" he wrote.

Behind the scenes, that territorial advantage is thought to be linked to manufacturing processes, the true reason behind Microsoft's launch woes and its reluctance to name a date more specific than "November 2013."

Using smaller chips and, therefore, a more efficient batch manufacturing technique, a better harvest of key PlayStation 4 components means improved margins and the possiblility of a lower market price, while Microsoft is said to be struggling to produce enough of the Xbox One for a workable launch.

As things stand, House took the opportunity to underscore the PlayStation 4's launch price of $399 (€399), $100 less than Microsoft's counterpart, reminding viewers that the PlayStation 4 offers "innovation and great value."

But he and his colleagues were careful to adopt an air of humility throughout, no doubt mindful that PlayStation's current momentum is a world away from the disastrously expensive PlayStation 3 launch, a time when his company was fat and arrogant from previous achievements, out of touch with consumer expectations, and unprepared for the Xbox 360's superior technology.