LOS ANGELES - In the lead-up to the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in California today (June 14), console titans Sony and Microsoft both showed very different hands.
Sony's focus was on a strong lineup of exclusive PlayStation content, and it also announced the availability of its virtual reality (VR) headset, the PlayStation VR.
Meanwhile, Microsoft showed off new hardware with the Xbox One S and Project Scorpio, and also introduced Xbox Play Anywhere, a platform that integrates Xbox devices and Windows 10.
Microsoft's conference began in the morning at Los Angeles' Galen Center, with the announcement of a new console.
The Xbox One S is a refresh of current Xbox One, and will retail from US$299 from August onwards. Availability in Singapore has not yet been announced.
The new Xbox One S is 40 per cent smaller than the Xbox One, and can output up to 4K video, while the Xbox One can only output up to 1080p.
It will also have up to 2TB of internal storage, versus the current 1TB.
Enthusiasts can look forward to Project Scorpio, a high-end version of the Xbox console with beefed up specs. It is scheduled for the end of next year, and pricing has not yet been announced.
It will pack six teraflops of computing power, and support 4K gaming as well as high-fidelity VR support.
Microsoft also announced Xbox Play Anywhere, a feature that allows gamers to buy a single copy of a game, and play it on both Xbox devices and Windows 10. It will save progress across platforms, so gamers switching from one device to another can pick up where they left off.
The first few games that will be benefit from the service include Xbox exclusives Halo Wars 2 (to be released in February next year) and Gears of War 4 (to be released in October this year).
Sony's briefing, which took place in the evening at the Shrine Auditorium across the road, focused less on infrastructure and more on content.
It also announced the availability of the PlayStation VR, which will go on sale on October 13 in the USA, for US$399. Availability in Singapore has yet to be announced.
At the Sony show, games were centrestage, with a strong line-up of exclusive titles.
A gameplay trailer for a new God Of War game was shown, and a remastered version of Crash Bandicoot was announced.
A video of Guerrilla Games' Horizon Zero Dawn showed hunter Aloy battling a series of biomechanical creatures, while Heavy Rain developer Quantic Dream showed off another choice-based game, Detroit: Become Human.
Hideo Kojima, the famed creator of the Metal Gear series, also made an appearance to introduce a video trailer for his new game, Death Stranding.
Before E3, other game publishers such as Bethesda, Ubisoft and Electronic Arts also held their own briefings, with updates on new content and titles. Nintendo will be holding their briefing tomorrow (June 15).