The Breakdown

Explaining Southern California's economy

E3: Sony's PlayStation 4 undercuts price of Microsoft's Xbox One

Sony announced at E3 it will sell the Playstation 4 for $399, $100 less than the Xbox One.
Sony announced at E3 it will sell the Playstation 4 for $399, $100 less than the Xbox One. KPCC/Wendy Lee

There’s a battle brewing between Sony and Microsoft at Downtown L.A.’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, known as E-3. Both companies are touting new video gaming machines.—Sony has its PlayStation 4 and Microsoft, its Xbox One. The competition is fierce and Sony has raised the stakes by trying to undercut Microsoft on price.

It's been several years since both companies released new versions of their video game consoles. Sony responded to the situation by announcing on Monday night that it will charge $399 for the Playstation 4, $100 cheaper than Microsoft’s $499 Xbox One.

Jeff Yanick of Riverside is a huge video gamer. The cell phone salesman can only afford to buy one video game console this year, and Sony’s price has him leaning toward the PlayStation 4.

“Right now, the PS4 makes a good case for it, because it’s $100 cheaper and it has a lot of titles that you want,” he said.

Michael Zyda, founding director of USC's GamePipe Laboratory and a professor at USC's computer science department, said the lower price gives Sony an advantage. 

“Microsoft is going to have to look at their numbers and look at the competition and say we got to match the competition,” Zyda said.

Microsoft declined to say whether or not it will reduce its prices. The company said in a statement there's a lot of excitement for the Xbox One, pointing to sales on Amazon.com, which nearly sold out of pre-order consoles in less than four hours.

Sony on Monday also highlighted features on the PlayStation 4 that the Xbox doesn’t have. For example, PlayStation 4 doesn’t require gamers to log in online.

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