Via Twitter, Xbox Australia said welcome to the party PlayStation 4. A classy gesture in a ruthless retail war, which, more than ever is a battle for hearts and minds where the combatants have never been so indistinguishable.
Brand awareness is where the battle will be one. Hardware wise both the Xbox One and PS4 are, for all intents and purposes, identical. It will be software exclusives, and handful of differences in services offered, long term hardware reliability and then, level of brand loyalty that will differentiate the two consoles.
Today the PlayStation 4 joins the Xbox One at retail, and it does so with a sizable momentum advantage over its competitor. Certainly if you are looking for a PS4 in a retail store today, it will be difficult due to the level of pre-order take up.
“It has been an exciting time for all of us at PlayStation, and after the successful launch across United States and Canada we could not be any more proud to be introducing the PlayStation 4 to our region today,” said Jim Ryan, President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. “PS4 has been designed with gamers at its heart, and it is the PlayStation fans that help make these occasions so memorable. We have been overwhelmed by the unprecedented demand for PS4 and we are committed to try and meet those demands.”
Launch exclusive games are somewhat thin with Sony relying on Killzone: Shadow Fall and Knack being the vanguard titles for the new console. The retro shooter Resogun is worthy of mention, which PS Plus members will enjoy for free.
There are plenty of cross-platform titles to enjoy, this correspondent recommends Need For Speed:Rivals or Assassin’s Creed IV, regardless of your platform right now.
Beyond that, it will be the multiscreen options (with the PS4 has an advantage for those that own a PS Vita), social capabilities such as Twitch TV streaming or the ubiquitous Facebook and Twitter integration and services such as Sony’s Music and Video Unlimited that may sway a potential fence sitter.
Either way, as the gracious Microsoft tweet says, it’s a great time to be a gamer.