If E3 2013 saw Sony taking the lead as the better console, here's a recap of just what happened during the conferences of both sides, and more importantly, just where each console stands in the public's eye.
The PS4: Games, games, and more games
There's something to be said about Sony's continuing campaign for exclusive new independent games, which puts its number of launch titles to a whopping 33 when the PS3 comes out this November.
It seems that Sony knows just where it stands in the console battle, and knows where its strengths lie--finding new games and letting them thrive in the community to differentiate itself from Microsoft's own exclusives, which mostly involve blockbuster games.
At least eight new indie titles, reports Geek, will be making its appearance, either as a time-excusive or entirely exclusive game for Sony. The list includes Guns of Icarus Online, Wasteland Kings, Hotline Miami 2, Resogun, Volume, The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, and N++.
In fact, as though proof of the appeal of Sony to indie gamers, Mojang, developer of Minecraft, has announced that its exclusivity with Microsoft has ended. This implies that apart from the Xbox 360 and Xbox One, the game will now be available for the PS4, the PS3, and the PS Vita. Minecraft is the biggest indie game in Microsoft.
This served as one of the big surprises at Gamescom, because the fact was announced without so much as a drum roll, perhaps making it stick even more.
Price cuts for two more Sony devices
Perhaps a bit of news to rejoice over is the fact that consumers can enjoy price cuts for the PS Vita and the PS3 as the release date for the console nears.
CVG reports that the PS3 and the PS Vita are now available at $199 in the U.S., with expected price cuts for the memory cards of the PS Vita.
The price drop for the PS Vita is a pretty smart move, especially since Sony is really pushing for the device to be a remote play companion to the PS4.
But more than a companion, Sony is grooming the PS Vita to have its own following, with console games Borderlands 2 and Fez reportedly coming to the handheld.
Now we know when: Release date
Perhaps one of the things that everyone wants to know is the release date, and Sony kept true to their word about announcing the release date for November 15 in the U.S. and November 29 in Europe, according to Forbes.
The timing is actually perfect to announce it, since Sony has already given the deadline of August 5 for preorders of the PS4--that is, any preorders after the date is not guaranteed shipping on the first day to temper any expectations.
Assuming that Sony is fully confident that it can deliver the demand, announcing a definitive date of release will not become a big issue.
Xbox One: Finally learning the meaning of listening?
For all the flak that Microsoft has received at the E3 2013, Microsoft was able to redeem some of its lost points by presenting some enticing deals and offers to both the gamers and the developers.
Building up on the console's strength of having exclusive access and content to blockbuster games, Microsoft wasted on time in presenting its own lineup. Granted it had 23, 10 less than Sony's, but this may be expected because the entire release list of the Xbox One revolves around AAA games.
Wooing back the indies
At the E3 2013, Microsoft also received some negative comments from independent developers, as they felt that Microsoft was trying to cut them out of the deal by not allowing self-publishing.
Before long, Microsoft has buckled, telling the public that it will be introducing an indie developers' program which will allow them to publish even without a third-party publisher.
Though it took quite a while to be introduced, the development program for indie games has finally been announced, and Microsoft has revealed what independent developers can get when they apply for the Independent Developers @ Xbox.
Aside from the two free dev kits no membership fees for game certification, Microsoft has also announced that even indie games won't have to fight a supposed losing battle against more known games because of the program's mechanics, reports GameSpot.
Exclusive titles and a free game
Microsoft also took the time to announce that there is another freebie coming with every bundle of the Xbox One. Earlier, it had been announced that the all Day One and Standard Edition bundles of the Xbox One will come with the next-gen headset.
This time, the Xbox One consoles will also come with a free game, the FIFA 14. And when talking about games, Microsoft has also revealed a number of anticipated and exclusive games, including Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, Peggle 2, and Fables.
So who wins? Though a clear winner is not in sight, not unlike the E3 2013, Microsoft did get bonus points for actually pulling off a seamless delivery of the changes as well as the additions in its Xbox One campaign.
Aside from trying to get the independent developers on their side, they also hyped up on what gamers can get with the Xbox One.
On the other hand, the PS4, though focusing mostly on its game offerings, did reveal quite a few more information, such as the price cuts for other gaming devices, the release date of the next-gen console, and more indie titles to look forward to.
Knowing all of these, who do you think gain the upper hand in the second round of the console wars?
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