THE two giants of the gaming world have finally given customers a look at the next generation of games consoles set to dominate the multi-billion pound industry over the next few months.
Sony and Microsoft have been playing their own game of virtual poker since the start of the year, refusing to reveal their hand to the other too soon.
The industry giants have created a buzz over their respective next generation of consoles – Microsoft with the Xbox One, while Sony has the PlayStation4.
Games fans and industry heavyweights gathered in Los Angeles yesterday for the annual E3 technology extravaganza – with both companies primed to pull the trigger and start a sales race to the Christmas market.
Industry expert Tristan Donovan, author of Replay: “The History of Video Games, said the gaming market relished the contest. “If there was just the one console coming out, it’s not so exciting, but if you’ve got these two companies trying to win over customers, it’s more dramatic … it’s a bit like Blur and Oasis during the 90s.”
Both companies held press conferences at each end of the day, with Microsoft first out of the traps. Held in a packed auditorium, the audience was dazzled with green light as images of the Xbox and excerpts of hyper-real games were beamed across three large screens to a booming soundtrack.
Action shots from the hugely popular action series Metal Gear Solid 5 were also shown to resounding cheers from the audience. Microsoft’s Don Mattrick, president of the company’s Interactive Entertainment Business sector, said the real battle was “all about the games” – before announcing 13 new titles “found only on Xbox One”.
The computing giant, best known for its industry-
dominating Windows software, had revealed details about its updated machine at the start of the month, and yesterday added a blu-ray player to it, a Skype video calling facility as well as upgrading its Kinetic motion sensing camera. However, Microsoft has already faced criticism for trying too hard to create an “all-in-one system” for games, TV, films and music.
Meanwhile, Sony concentrated more on what would be inside its new PlayStation box – its first major games machine since the PS3 went on sale in 2006.
New features focus on social networking and remote access, while users can broadcast video of play to friends. The PS4 system has 8GB of memory and an updated DualShock 4 controller. This comes with a touchpad, a headphone socket and a light bar, which can be tracked by a camera to detect where the player is.