Japan's electronics giant Sony is using aggressive pricing policy to outmuscle its US rival Microsoft in the games console market. Sony's new PlayStation 4 will cost much less than Microsoft's next-generation Xbox One.
Sony said on Monday it would offer its latest PlayStation 4 model for $399 in the United States and 399 euros in Europe, significantly undercutting its biggest market rival.
The Japanese technology firm made the announcement on the eve of the opening of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles on Monday.
This would mean the price tag for its next-generation game console would be $100 cheaper than Microsoft's Xbox One model, for which the US firm would charge $499, Sony said.
Both companies, which dominate the market for entertainment consoles ahead of Japan's Nintendo, announced their latest models would hit shelves around the globe shortly before the year-end holiday season.
Sony also said the PlayStation 4 would run second-hand games and didn't require an Internet connection. In addition, said Jack Tretton, the president of Sony Computer Entertainment of America, 140 new games would be in development for the PS4 - with at least 100 of the titles due out in the year following the release.
"When a player buys a PS4 disk they have the right to use that game, trade it in, lend it to a friend, or keep it forever," Tretton said.
By contrast, Microsoft drew criticism from gamers after announcing restrictions on used games for its Xbox One, as well as for making Internet authentication obligatory for players.
Microsoft has sold some 77 million Xbox 360 consoles since the hit the market in 2005. Rival Sony has sold about the same number of its PlayStation 3 models, introduced in 2006. Nintendo's latest Wii U, released last year, has posted disappointing sales, well short of the 100 million consoles it sold of its original Wii model introduced in 2006.
uhe/rc (AFP, dpa, Reuters)