E3 2013: Sony takes aim at Microsoft at PS4 event

June 11, 2013 | 7:00 a.m.
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Attendees take photographs with mobile devices during the Sony Corp. E3 media event in Los Angeles. (Patrick T. Fallon / Bloomberg)

apphoto playstation e3 press conference E3 2013: Sony takes aim at Microsoft at PS4 event

PlayStation 4 is unveiled for the first time by Andrew House, President and Group CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., at the PlayStation E3 Press Conference. (Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

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Close up on Sony Computer Entertainment president and CEO Andrew House as he introduces the new PlayStation 4. (Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

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Shuhei Yoshida, President of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios. (Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

apphoto games e3 sony E3 2013: Sony takes aim at Microsoft at PS4 event

Jack Tretton, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment of America, is silhouetted as he watches a presentation at the Sony PlayStation E3 media briefing with the "Mad Max" game in the background. (Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

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Jack Tretton, chief executive officer of Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc., talks about the company's PlayStation Vita handheld gaming console. (Patrick T. Fallon / Bloomberg)

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Jack Tretton, chief executive officer of Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc., stands in front of a display of video game titles. (Patrick T. Fallon / Bloomberg)

blm e3 expo 20132 E3 2013: Sony takes aim at Microsoft at PS4 event

Jack Tretton, chief executive officer of Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc., talks about the upcoming "Grand Theft Auto V" video game. (Patrick T. Fallon / Bloomberg)

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A controller for the new PlayStation 4 is on display at the Sony PlayStation E3 media briefing. (Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

At a presentation Monday night in Los Angeles, Sony unveiled the look of its next-generation PlayStation 4 console, showcased a slew of new mainstream and indie titles and threw down the gauntlet before Microsoft, one of its two main competitors in the console space.

The PS4, an upright standing box with two shades of black and diagonal edges, is due to be released this holiday season and retail for $399. It will not enforce digital rights management restrictions on those playing offline, single-player games — a stance in direct opposition to the one taken by Microsoft for the release of its Xbox One.

The Xbox One is set to hit retailers in November and carry a price of $499. From a consumer perspective, the key differentiating point between the consoles appears to be Xbox One’s inclusion of motion- and voice-detecting Kinect in every unit.


Sony’s event capped a run of video game news conferences on the eve of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the largest video game trade show in the world.

But after a day in which the gaming media took in new titles from Electronic Arts, Ubisosft and more at events at which the mere mention of top-flight brands such as “Halo” or “Star Wars: Battlefront” can generate applause, it was a rundown by Jack Tretton, president of Sony Computer Entertainment America, of what the PS4 won’t do that generated the largest cheers of the day.

Close up on Sony Computer Entertainment president and CEO Andrew House as he introduces the new PlayStation 4. (Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

Sony Computer Entertainment President and CEO Andrew House introduces the new PlayStation 4. (Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

“If you enjoy playing single-player games offline, PS4 won’t force you to check in and it won’t stop working if you haven’t authenticated within 24 hours,” Tretton said near the conclusion of Monday’s nearly two-hour news conference at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena.

The Xbox One will need to be connected to the Internet at least once every 24 hours if one wishes to game offline, Microsoft said last week. If a user tries to access a game library on a friend’s Xbox One, then the system will require a network connection at least once per hour. The tradeoff is that much of one game’s content lives online and users can access whatever they purchase on any Xbox One, once they log in.

To play online with the PS4, however, it will now cost you. A PlayStation Plus subscription will be required for online play, and it runs $49.99 per year.

PHOTOS: Scenes from E3 2013

Sony’s jabs at Microsoft didn’t end on that point. Tretton added that Sony will not place restrictions on reselling discs or buying used games. Trade in the disc at a retailer, sell it to a friend, lend it to a friend or keep it forever, Tretton said in another not-so-subtle dig at Microsoft. The Xbox One will allow an owner to transfer a game’s license to a friend only once, and is leaving the prospect of reselling games to a retailer up to the title’s publisher.

Sony went so far as to release a sarcastic training video online, explaining that the sharing of a PS4 disc is as simple as handing it to a friend. The clip shows  Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios, and Adam Boyes, vice president of publisher and developer relations for Sony Computer Entertainment America.

The console back-and-forth overshadowed the initial reason for Sony’s gathering Monday evening, which was to showcase upcoming games for the PS4. To that end, Sony trotted out a teaser for a previously announced “Mad Max” game from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, which is to be available for multiple platforms, including the Xbox One.

“Mad Max,” according to a Warner Bros. news release, will center around gamers fighting “to stay alive in The Wasteland, using brutal on-ground and vehicular combat against vicious gangs of bandits. Players are challenged with treacherous missions as they scavenge the dangerous landscape for supplies to build the ultimate combat vehicle.”

Sony also introduced a brand new exclusive title, dubbed “The Order: 1886,” which comes from Southern California’s Ready At Dawn, best known for such titles as “Daxter” and “God of War: Chains of Olympus.” The title looks to be set in Jack the Ripper-era London, but also seems to include elements of time travel, magic and the ability to communicate with a world of the dead.

POLL: Xbox One vs. PS4

The long-awaited “Kingdom Hearts 3” was confirmed to be in development and is destined for the PS4 in 2014,  as is “Final Fantasy XV.” Both are from Square Enix.

Unlike Microsoft, Sony previously had unveiled a number of games for its new console, including “Killzone: Shadows Fall,” “Driveclub” and “Infamous: Second Son,” the latter of which was given a new trailer featuring Nirvana’s “Heart Shaped Box.” The company seemed more focused Monday on attempting to spotlight the PS4’s diversity in game selection.

Jack Tretton, chief executive officer of Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc., stands in front of a display of video game titles. (Patrick T. Fallon / Bloomberg)

Jack Tretton, chief executive officer of Sony Computer Entertainment America, stands in front of a display of video game titles. (Patrick T. Fallon / Bloomberg)

Some of the highlights were “Rays the Dead” from Ragtag Studios, a cartoon-zombie puzzle game in which the protagonist tries to figure out how he became a zombie, and the forthcoming title from Supergiant Games. The studio is best known for its adventure title “Bastion,” and is to release its “Transistor” on the PS4 in early 2014. The game boasted a painted, anime-influenced look.

In the first year of the PS4’s release, Sony expects about 100 titles to be issued. Of that number, about 40 were described as having “experiences” exclusive to the PS4. Bethesda’s “Elder Scrolls Online” will make its way to the PS4, and “Destiny,” Bungie’s follow-up to its work on the “Halo” series, was given an extended playthrough, showing two players exploring a ravaged factory.

Newly unveiled Monday, courtesy of Sony Entertainment Chief Executive Michael Lynton, was the news that the company is developing original programming that will live on the PlayStation Network. The company offered no details as to what that programming would be, but Lynton said it would be designed with “gamers in mind.”

Microsoft is taking a similar path with the Xbox One, and already has revealed that Steven Spielberg is executive producing a series inspired by “Halo” with content that will live exclusively in the Xbox ecosystem.

— Todd Martens

Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex


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22 Responses to E3 2013: Sony takes aim at Microsoft at PS4 event

  1. anthony bolton says:

    what would be new about it then the ps3

    • anthony says:

      thats what im asking, besides the upgraded hardware and controller. what else is new?

      • barom says:

        Maybe rewatch the initial PS4 conference if you're asking these questions. Plenty of stuff, cloud gaming, standby mode, play as you download, share button, light bar, mic on controller (I think), recording capabilities, new camera, cloud gaming, remote play, etc.

  2. Jessica says:

    can PS3 games be played on the PS4?

    • Valhalla Viking says:

      PS4 will not be backwards compatible with PS3 games due to the changed system architecture, Sony has announced plans to start streaming PS3 games online stating in 2014.

    • Alexander says:

      No they can't. xbox 360 games cant be played on the xbox one either. There will, however, be some sort of cloud service in 2014 allowing you to download hits from the ps3 and before

  3. xbone says:


  4. TeeJ says:

    LA Times seems a bit bias.There are obvious pros/cons to either console.I have never understood the big division between xbox and playstation users.We all love to play games so why does it matter what console we do it on.I personally would love to own every gaming console from atari to now.The reality is gaming is huge and both consoles are making great leaps to push the boundaries of gaming entertainment.Let us all stop bashing and start appreciating.We have two fantastic consoles coming out and i am excited.

    • Charles says:

      The issue is Xbox is now acting like a spyware console. Internet always on. Kinetic included with every purchase. This is too Orwelian for me. I just want to play games after a hard days work. Not have a camera analyzing the height weight ratio of me and my family to Crete a profile for my household without my concent. Who invented this thing, Microsoft or the NSA?

      • james braselton says:

        me too i just want fun gamming thats why 35,000,000 thats 35 million comadores 64 with 1 mhz cpu 64 killobytes storage capacity 2,.4 kb mobem thats 20 yeas old in 2014 the company went bbbankrupt we keept games and consoles

      • Love the over-the-top comment… honestly, do you think Sony is not collecting your gaming information and selling it? Information is out there and anyone (government otherwise) can get their hands on it. This whole NSA scandal is rather funny considering that all these companies collect vast repositories of information and sell them to marketers. If I wanted to find out information on someone I would just buy the information with a marketing company front… NSA aside. Some people are so Zombie when it comes to new stories.

    • Aaron says:


      What do you mean "why does it matter what console we do it on"? The entire article is about what the difference is between the two consoles. Did you forget already?

    • Oh, please. This article bends over backwards to look for positives in the Xbox One where there aren't any.

  5. Riff says:

    I totally agree with TeeJ! I think both systems are fantastic in their own way I lean a bit more torwards PS3 but I also have the 360. I plan on getting both eventually (PS4 & Xbox One). So sick of people saying "on Sony sucks, or Mircosoft blows" They are both great companies and both have made mistakes in the past and will continue to do in the furure. This time around they went in oppisite directions. Theres always going to be compeition, but true gamers are open minded….

  6. bob says:

    Xbox done has fell!!! Quick someone call an ambulance!!!!!!!
    Wii U Wii U Wii U Wii U!!!

  7. george kief says:

    The big news is that SONY will not bend over the used game market, more freedom to gamers which is always better.. Microsoft has always hated people selling their stuff used, the even enforce it on the software with lawsuits ; notice how no retail stores sell windows used? I have worked at one of the last major used media outlets in the USA and most of our sales are used games and Microsoft has threatend to sue us when they caught wind of us selling used copies of windows that they don't even support anymore. screw em, hope they fail big time. they tried to sue when they were losing no money at all, just a power trip..

  8. tyrek says:

    PS4 is gonna be awsome but what i don't get is why does the controller look so small it should be a little wider… but in terms of the gameplay awwwwwww. it's gonna rock eh…..
    but does it have backward compatabilty… if not then
    but i am still looking forward to it

  9. Zach says:

    Both consoles look amazing in their own way. Gonna get both I just wish the PS3 controllers didn’t look so small and awkward shaped also I wish both consoles were $400 not $400 and $500. Or like they did with the PS3 and Xbox 360 where depending on what console you bought and what it came with and how much space it could hold the price would range higher and lower.

  10. casper says:

    gaming community on PS sucks lol and why is everyone flipping out on the no resale, it states that publisher is to determine if u can or cant trade in games. And i have to say ever since i found out that Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy, and Killer Instinct will be on Xbox One i dont need to get PS4 now Thank You Publishers for doing that.

  11. Funforone says:

    Bill Gates in the floppy disc copying days: " ..your just a bunch of thieves!" Microsoft knows more about piracy than anyone. They make Windows for God sake! This check your software everyday thing isn't any surprise to me. I was wondering how long they were going to wait for it.

  12. james braselton says:

    hi there xbox will charge full retail of used games soo new games cost $60 and used games $60 becuase xbox uses dram block used games then kinect mandtory mandatory online checks 1 every 24 hours

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