Microsoft’s Xbox 360 first launched in November 2005, Sony’s PlayStation 3 followed in November 2006. The 360 initially retailed for either £279.99 with a 20GB HDD, or £209.99 without any storage; a price that had declined come the release of the PS3. Sony’s console came in a £299.99 40GB model and a £424.99 60GB model. Needless to say, with a higher asking price and a year long wait, PS3 didn’t have the most successful launch.
When E3 2013 arrived in June, Microsoft opened the show with their infamous Xbox One press conference. ‘Controversial’ always online and game sharing policies, mandatory Kinect and a resultant steep price point sent the Internet into meltdown.
Sony monitored this, and at the last minute changed their presentation to hard counter, undercut and thrust barbs Xbox’s way throughout. Executives on stage literally couldn't contain their joy as the audience present, and undoubtedly at home, roared with the hammering of each metaphorical nail into Microsoft's coffin. They won a large portion of the gaming community over, and that’s still evident today with the gulf in sales between the two console giants.
Sony better utilised those few hours between press conferences than they did an entire year in the previous generation.
That brings us to the present, and history seemingly repeating itself as disdain once again reigns supreme amongst gamers. This time it’s directed towards Oculus Rift and the virtual reality peripheral’s hefty £499.99 asking price, revealed with the recent opening of pre-orders. Once again, Sony are content to lift the veil second - undoubtedly lurking in the background to gauge consumer reaction, so that when their time comes, they’ll again right their predecessing competitor’s wrongs and be heralded the hero.
This is of course speculation, but I’m putting it out there now: PlayStation VR will be cheaper, £349.99 - £399.99 at most, and will bundle with a game of greater significance than those offered by Oculus.