Australian retailers are set to reap the rewards of a bitter gaming console battle with both Sony and Microsoft set to launch multimillion dollar marketing campaigns in the last quarter of 2013.
The positioning battle has already started with Sony coming in cheaper with their new Sony PlayStation 4 at $549 vs. $599 for the new Microsoft Xbox One console that also has the Kinect hardware built in.
Executives at Harvey Norman JB Hi Fi and EB Games have told ChannelNews that the release of the two consoles in the last quarter will trigger a buying frenzy as consumers move to upgrade their gaming devices.
Click to enlarge
However some retailers including JB Hi Fi, and Harvey Norman may have to refund deposits after Microsoft confirmed that its new Xbox One games console will sell in Australia for A$599 when it goes on sale in November.
When the new console was first unveiled three weeks ago, several chains gambled that the price would be around A$890-900, and began taking deposits for early orders at that price.
Harvey Norman began offering “advance orders” at $888, while EB Games and JB Hi-Fi estimated the likely price at $899. EB Games demanded a $50 deposit, JB Hi-Fi has said that they will refund the difference.
The Xbox One will come bundled with an updated Kinect motion controller, and will cost US$499 (A$533) in the US, compared with the proposed A$599 in Australia.
The Sony Australia price for the forthcoming PlayStation 4 games console will be $549.
That’s almost $50 less than Microsoft’s competing Xbox One.
Both consoles were on view at the E3 video games and entertainment show in Los Angeles this week.
Sony, like Microsoft, is pushing the networking features of the PlayStation 4. Its controller includes a “share” button that allows users to post gameplay footage and screenshots on social networking sites. Shu Yoshida, president of Sony Worldwide Studios, said the company’s studios have more than 30 PS4 games in development.