James Moore: Sony makes early gains in war with Microsoft

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The Independent Online

Outlook One of the better shoot-'em-ups in the gaming world will soon be with us. Console Wars: XStation Battle features Microsoft's new XBox vs the Playstation 4.

Microsoft will be first on to the field of play, but Sony looks to have won the early skirmishes as more details of its console emerged.

For a start, it's cheaper. XBox sells at $499, €499, or £429, compared to the PS4 at $399, €399 and £349 (note British gamers getting ripped off again by both of them).

Hardcore gamers will pay up to get their hands on the new kit, but Sony's move could be important when it comes to Christmas time, when cash-strapped parents may stand behind it.

But price isn't the only issue. Sony's console doesn't require an internet connection for single-player games, there's no need to regularly authenticate your machine, and no restrictions on where you can buy used games from.

The ultimate winner in what will be one of the more interesting business shoot-'em-ups may still be the console which provides the best games, and the best gaming experience.

Sony's concessions to the gaming community, whose members understandably feel they should be able to trade discs with each other, puts its nose in front here.

However, Microsoft could yet deflect Sony's attack on price, and expect both to come down sharply in the months, and perhaps even weeks, after Christmas.

What won't harm the gaming experience for anyone would be for competition watchdogs, either at a UK or European level, to look again at the pricing decisions of these companies, which always seem to make European, and especially UK, gamers the losers when compared to those in the US.