Analyst: PS4 'clearly' topped Xbox One at E3

Robert W. Baird analyst says Sony's showing at this year's conference stronger than Microsoft's, but battle is far from over.

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As E3 draws to a close later today, one analyst has claimed Sony has emerged in a better position than Microsoft, though the battle is far from ended.

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"Clearly, Sony is emerging from E3 on stronger footing, contrasting the PS4 against the more pricey Xbox One," Robert W. Baird analyst Colin Sebastian said in a note to investors today.

Sebastian pointed out that the PS4 is currently outselling the Xbox One on Amazon and GameStop, but said that if Sony wants to maintain its edge, it must "engage gamers proactively" with new software announcements.

Concerning the Xbox One, Sebastian said sentiment surrounding the platform is "mixed," due in part to backlash over its used-game and connectivity policies from a "vocal group of core gamers." Still, Sebastian remarked that many Xbox One titles should generate buzz for the system, including exclusives like Ryse, Quantum Break, and Titanfall.

Microsoft's Xbox One will retail for $500, but the company may offer alternative pricing options, Sebastian said, referring to subsidized models.

"Also, with Microsoft positioning Xbox One as a premium entertainment hub, we believe there is still an opportunity to salvage the launch, for example, through alternative pricing plans," he said.

Earlier this week, Xbox boss Phil Spencer suggested that Microsoft was considering leveraging its paid Xbox Live service to "meet consumer price points."

"The nice thing about Xbox Live is consumers do see value in it; they continue to sign up; they continue to grow," Spencer said. "And I think that diversity of business models to both meet consumer price points and different services that they're integrating their Xbox experience with is something that we definitely look at."

Sony is also exploring "many pricing options" for the PlayStation 4 in addition to the core $399 model.

The Xbox One and PS4 will both launch later this year.

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