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Today Microsoft announced some sweeping changes to the Xbox One, including a price cut that begins on June 9th. Here's how PlayStation France responded to the news:
Translation (via NeoGAF): "On June 9th, the PS4 stays the same."
In other words, Sony's shrugging at Microsoft's announcements. The big changes for the Xbox One - the $399 SKU, removal of a pay-wall for entertainment apps and expansion of Games with Gold - simply bring that console in line with the PS4's offering since launch.
While Sony (or the employee manning the PlayStation France Twitter account) might not consider the Xbox One changes all that ground-breaking, they are important. Microsoft is correcting three major concerns that gamers had with the Xbox One. These concerns were selling points for the PS4. Come next month, it's harder for Sony to argue that their console is the better value than the Xbox One. A gamer still deciding between PS4 and Xbox One won't care which console was $399 first.
Lowering the price of the Xbox One and offering free games and entertainment apps isn't enough to put Microsoft in the lead, though. The PS4 still has a big advantages in sales. Microsoft has to convince gamers that their console is worth $399, and that it's a better use of $399 than the PS4. It's not sufficient for Xbox One to replicate the PS4's features. It needs to offer something unique, such as incredible exclusives.
The June changes for Xbox One put the focus back on software. With major gaps in prices and features removed, the biggest differences between the PS4 and Xbox One now lay in their game libraries.
"The reason people buy these consoles is to play games," Xbox Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer Yusuf Mehdi said in an interview with Forbes today. "We’ve got the best games line-up. We had the best games line-up this past holiday if you talk to most experts in the games industry. As we go into E3, you’re going to see an incredible games line-up. Knock on wood, I believe we’re going to have a great games line-up for this coming holiday as well."
Today was a great day for the Xbox One. It doesn't put the PS4 on the defensive just yet but that could change at E3. If Microsoft has a better lineup of games during their press conference, Sony won't be able to use the PS4's lower price as a defense.