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Microsoft, Sony Hype Next Generation Gaming Systems At E3

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — The annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) kicks off Tuesday at the Los Angeles Convention Center downtown with two major gaming companies touting new technology.

The three day industry event will features 200 vendors, analysts, retailers, publishers and video game developers.

On Monday, Sony announced its forthcoming Play Station 4 which will cost $399, taking a big shot at Microsoft’s Xbox One that retails for $100 more.

“The gaming landscape is changing with new business models and new ways to play,” said Andrew House, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment.

The price announcement wasn’t the only shot fired at Microsoft during Sony’s presentation one day before E3 began. The loudest applause at the company’s event show came when Jack Tretton, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America, announced that the company would not try to restrict used game sales. Tretton also said the PS4 would not require a persistent online connection.

“PlayStation 4 disc-based games don’t need to be connected online to play or any type of authentication,” said Tretton. “If you enjoy playing single-player games offline, PS4 won’t require to you check in online period and it won’t stop working if you haven’t authenticated in 24 hours.”

Microsoft has been criticized for its vague statements about whether it will allow buyers of its Xbox One to play secondhand software, as well as its requirement that the new console be connected to the Internet at least once every 24 hours.

Beyond those issues, Sony gave potential PS4 buyers plenty of games to look forward to later this year. The company’s Santa Monica Studios, the developer of the “God of War” franchise, introduced the steampunk thriller “The Order: 1866.” Quantic Dream, the French studio behind “Heavy Rain” and the upcoming “Beyond: Two Souls,” provided a comical glimpse at the fantasy “The Dark Sorcerer.”

Microsoft Monday focused on cloud computing will make games for its next-generation Xbox One console more immersive.

“The platform features and capabilities exclusive to Xbox One allow developers to push the boundaries of creativity and take gaming in completely new directions,” Microsoft Vice President Phil Harrison told the crowd at University of Southern California’s Galen Center.

The upcoming console’s cloud computing capabilities were demonstrated by fleshing out dense environments in third-person open-world games like the zombie-fighting sequel “Dead Rising 3″ and cartoony shooter “Sunset Overdrive.” The racing simulator “Forza MotorSport 5″ introduced a feature called “drivatar,” which mimics players’ driving styles and allows their “drivatars” to play for them offline.

Microsoft revealed the console, which it has billed as an “all-in-one” entertainment solution for living rooms, will be released in November and cost $499.

Both gaming systems should be available for purchase by Christmas, KNX 1070 reports.

Like Microsoft, Sony is betting big on social networking features. The new version of its DualShock controller includes a “share” button that allows you to post gameplay footage and screenshots.
Friends can watch as you play a game, and you’ll even be able to let a pal take control of your game from afar if you can’t get past a tough battle. The controller also includes a touchpad and a Move motion sensor that works with a camera placed near the TV set.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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