It looks like Sony has the upper hand with the PlayStation 4 when it comes to the next-gen consoles, and the Xbox One will have to fight for market share.
There are plenty of reasons why this is the case, but in the end most people simply prefer the PS4 because it's £80 less. The outrageous pricing decisions at Microsoft stem from Steve Ballmer's insistence that price should be a reflection of development costs, regardless of the size of the market and the competition.
There is another factor here that Microsoft seems to ignore. We are in a depression! Hello! Earth to the billionaires who run Microsoft, come in, come in!
If you are super-rich like Steve Ballmer, £80 means nothing to you personally. But many people who love their Xbox 360 and could not afford to buy a PS3 will gladly switch back to Sony to keep some balance between the two systems. And this is going to be even more of a trend if there are serious compatibility issues with the Xbox One as far as legacy games are concerned.
I should also mention that if Microsoft had kept up a torrid pace of development and brought out the Xbox One two years ago, it would now be introducing the Xbox Two against the PS4 and the game would have been over. But no.
Another thing to consider amidst the excessive and mostly illegal snooping by the American government is Microsoft's increased reliance on the cloud and its insistence that a spy camera, the Kinect, be attached to the machine at all times. This is just crazy. It actually looks like two eyeballs are looking at you, watching everything you do. Why aren't more people freaked out by this?
While Microsoft has reversed a few generally unpopular policies that the new system bore, such as not allowing the resale of games, I'm going to agree with the majority of pundits who place the blame squarely on the pricing.
That said, it may actually be a marketing ploy. Perhaps at Christmas, the company can announce a special sale: £80 off the new Xbox One! "Why should I buy a £350 PlayStation 4, when I can get a £430 Xbox One for the same price as the Sony?" the customer will wonder.
If Sony does not anticipate this with an equal drop in price, the company could be decimated. But if Sony can afford to lop the same £80 off, then its boxes will fly off the shelves and Microsoft will lose.
Let's all sit back and see what happens. I'm hoping for any sort of bloodbath.