While Microsoft was presenting Xbox One at its E3 keynote last year, Sony executives were watching stressfully from the backstage until the very end when the console's price was announced; at which point they started dancing and high-fiving.
During last year's E3, Microsoft revealed that Xbox One would retail for $499, a hundred dollars more expensive than PlayStation 4's $399 price point which was announced minutes later.
"We had a feeling they were going to come in at $499, but we weren't sure," remembers Scott Rohde, software product development head at Sony Worldwide Studios America. "So yeah, we were dancing in the aisles and high-fiving. It was great. Anyone that came in on an interview, it didn't matter what the question was, I could always just answer it with $399. It was the answer to every question."
Theoretically, PlayStation 4 is slightly more powerful than Xbox One however there are no noticeable differences between both consoles' games yet. Nonetheless, PlayStation 4 has overtaken Xbox One by a significant margin in USA and worldwide. Most analysts attribute that to price difference.
With that in mind, Microsoft started selling Xbox One SKUs without Kinect for $399 a couple of weeks ago. According to Rohde, Sony was expecting that move ever since they heard the price at E3.
"I think that, to be truthful, we always assumed that eventually they'd have to release a SKU without a camera," he said. "So we were waiting for it to a degree, and we were ready for it."