Did Microsoft lose the E3 battle on day one? I think they did and here is why:
This is the main factor, the price of both of the consoles. The Xbox One will cost $499, while the PS4 will cost $399. At first glance the Xbox One looks overpriced, but is it really?
Sony did what they needed to. They took over the headlines with there $399 price point. Upon further investigation, however, it seems that these price points aren't what they seem.
The Xbox One will include the Kinect sensor. The PS4 will not include it's similar PlayStation Eye. The Eye is an additional $59 dollars. If you look at it like this, then the prices come just a little closer: $499 vs. $458. There is still a gap.
The question then comes down to if the Kinect worth the extra 42 dollars. That is up to the customer to decide. To me, in the end, the price difference really isn't that big of an issue.
But what Sony did with their price point is steal headlines. You will have seen many with "PS4 - $399, Xbox One $499" somewhere in it. This is all Sony needs.
Always Online/Used Games
Here is where the Xbox One falls apart. You have to be connected to the internet pretty much all the time. Their official policy is, if you are playing the game on your console, you have to "check in" every 24 hours to make sure you are licensed to play your games.
The reason it does this is that the Xbox One will work sort of in the same way computer gaming works. The disc is mainly a way of installing the game onto the hard drive. After that, you really don't need the disc. So it checks in to make sure you have a license for that game.
Now, if you are on a friends console trying to play your game it will check in every hour. This is ridiculous to me.
To make things even more confusing, here is a quote from the Xbox One blog post about licensing:
“Third party publishers may opt in or out of supporting game resale and may set up business terms or transfer fees with retailers,”
This means you may never be able to resell a game, or the publisher gets a cut when you sell it.
In response to this, Sony dealt Microsoft a killing blow with this video:
Sony is making clear their position to NOT require an online connection and to allow gamers to share games the old fashioned way. I don't want to think about licensing when giving a game to a friend. I just want to let him borrow and play it.
All of the polls on various websites tend to show Sony trumping Microsoft at E3. Over the coming months I wonder how Microsoft scrambles to dispel all of this bad press.