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One of the most important factors weighed up by consumers when considering a new purchase of any kind is the cost involved, and if it were in fact the be-all, end-all, then Sony’s PlayStation 4 would win the next-gen console wars hands-down. With this week being E3 and all, the Xbox One and PS4 were always going to be the two hottest topics, and the prices of each have been confirmed by their respective manufacturers. In a nutshell, the Xbox One will set you back $499, while the PlayStation 4 will launch at $100 cheaper, costing $399.

For those operating on a, shall we say, economic budget, this could be a significant revelation. Sony finally took the wraps off the PlayStation 4 design yesterday, and since it looks, much like its adversary, like an over-zealous, jumped-up set-top box, there’s little to call between them.

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Even under the hood, their specs are largely identical, and when one considers the price of Xbox LIVE – remember, multiplayer on the PlayStation Network is not free anymore starting from the PlayStation 4 – the Microsoft console looks a considerably weightier investment than the PS4.

One of the primary reasons why the Xbox 360 outnumbered and outgunned the PlayStation 3 last time around – aside from the fact that it hit the market later in the day – was cited as the former’s hefty launch price. At this point, it’s too early to cast aspersions, but on the face of it, it would appear as though Microsoft is playing fast and loose with its console supremacy.

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Lest we forget, when both consoles arrive later on this year, many purchasers will be parents buying a new console for their children, and with such a gulf between the pricing, the favored option would seem obvious.

The Xbox One was given a bit of a flogging when showcased last month, thanks in part to the announcement seeming to focus on how it would be revolutionizing the living room as opposed to trying to whet the appetites of the hardcore gamers that made it what it is.

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Sony, conversely, has paid much attention to its purist gaming fans, and in managing to launch at a considerably lower price versus its fiercest rival, looks in good stead to take the lion’s share of the holiday season sales. Xbox One release date is stated for November officially, while no specific date given yet for the PlayStation 4, apart from ‘this holiday season’.

Thoughts?

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