PS4 beat Xbox One price by ditching camera, report says

The report claims that Sony quietly removed the previously-bundled PlayStation 4 Eye in a bid to undercut Microsoft.

Luke Westaway Senior editor
Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.
Luke Westaway
2 min read

Sony ditched the PlayStation 4's previously bundled webcam to slash the console's price, a fresh report claims.

The fourth PlayStation console, which shocked the gaming world by coming in a full £80 cheaper than Microsoft's Xbox One, achieved that amiable price by chucking the system's camera on the scrap heap, IGN claims, citing 'multiple sources'.

Apparently Sony chucked the 'Eye' sensor bar, which was meant to communicate with the console's new DualShock 4 controller, on the hush-hush -- telling retailers about the new bundle, but not revealing the price, lest Microsoft get tipped off.

Sony's craftiness paid off, it seems, as Microsoft was left red-faced when it revealed a hefty £429 price-tag for its Xbox One -- an even higher price than the PlayStation 3, which saw its 2006 launch hampered by a £425 cost.

Watch this: Evolution of the PlayStation

The Xbox One comes bundled with Microsoft's spangly new Kinect camera, which has been upgraded to improve its motion-sensing chops, and is doubtless part of the high cost.

While Kinect is certainly cool, and it's hard to criticise something that can be used to power adorable robots or Star Wars-esque holograms, I suspect many gamers would rather have a cheaper console, and forgo the motion-sensing gubbins altogether.

While scrapping the camera could have shaved cash off the final cost, I suspect Sony may have employed other price-reducing measures too, as the PS4 camera seems unlikely to account for the £80 difference between the two systems all by itself.

Console-makers often subsidise the cost of new games machines, hoping to make back the cash on games sales later on. Perhaps Sony dug deeper into its own pockets to make the PS4 cheaper, or maybe Microsoft is confident that it can charge more for the Xbox One, and doesn't feel like coughing up much of its own cash to lower the retail price.

Microsoft has defended the new Xbox's high price. In an interview with Bloomberg, Microsoft's Don Mattrick said that the new console was "over-delivering value against other choices", seemingly failing to notice that the phrase 'over-delivering value' doesn't mean anything.

Which console would you rather own? Is the Xbox One too pricey, or well worth the extra cash? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.