It turns out that several key features on next-generation gaming consoles will cost extra — on top of the console's basic asking price.
A big story came today, when Microsoft announced that users would need an Xbox Live Gold subscription (which costs $60/year) to record and share gameplay footage. The feature is called Game DVR; it's been on Xbox 360 for a few years now, where you also need a Gold account to access the service.
The same day, Sony President Shuhei Yoshida confirmed via Twitter that you won't need a PlayStation Plus account (Sony's paid subscription network) to share gameplay footage.
In other words, Sony's turned next-generation gaming consoles into a game of one-upmanship, and so far they've won just about every match.
But both consoles require users to pay more money on top of the console's original price to access certain features, even some that had been presented at earlier demonstrations as central to the consoles' offerings.
For example, at its console reveal in May Microsoft touted the Xbox One's non-gaming features, including the console's voice-activated cable TV offerings. But to watch TV on your Xbox One, you'll have to pay for an Xbox Live Gold subscription in addition to the $499 you'll pay for the device itself.
Sony, too, tried to downplay the fact that the PlayStation 4 will require a Plus subscription ($50/year) to access online multiplayer, which the PlayStation 3 does not require.
Both Sony and Microsoft will continue to reveal more about their upcoming consoles in the coming months and might even change certain features before the consoles' release dates.
|Features||Xbox One||PlayStation 4|
|Controller||1 Xbox One controller (additional controllers cost $59.99)||1 DualShock 4 PlayStation controller (additional controllers cost $59 each)|
|Headset||Xbox One chat headset||Earbud headset|
|Motion sensor||Xbox One Kinect||Not included: the PlayStation Eye costs $59.|
|Cables||1 HDMI cable, 1 power cord with transformer||1 HDMI cable, 1 power cable, 1 USB cable|
|Online multiplayer capability||Not included: $60/year Xbox Live Gold membership required.||Not included: $50/year PlayStation Plus account required. (Had been included for free with PS3.)|
|Streaming and recording gameplay footage||Not included: Xbox Live Gold account required (same for Xbox 360).||Included.|
|Accessing cable and streaming TV services||Not included: Xbox Gold account required for watching Netflix or Cable TV (on top of service subscriptions).||Unclear.|
As of now, we know that the PlayStation 4 will cost $399 at launch, and the Xbox One will cost $499. But what, exactly, are you getting for your money? Here's a breakdown of what we know so far. None of this has stopped people from getting excited about the Xbox One, judging by how often people have viewed Microsoft's unboxing video.