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How Sony Won E3 and Recaptured the Video Game World

Adam Leverone

06/10/14 - 10:49 AM EDT

Updated from 9:10 a.m. to include more information about PlayStation Now.

LOS ANGELES (TheStreet) -- Though Sony (SNE) has had recent troubles stemming from a failing television business, continued operating losses, and a battle with hedge fund Third Point over its direction, Sony has made sure its video game unit has continued to capture the minds of gamers around the world. Judging by the reception at E3, it appears as if Sony has solidified its lead in the console wars, even if some of the bigger games for PlayStation 4 won't be out until 2015.

The 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) kicked off Monday in Los Angeles, and the first day more than lived up to the hype. Media gatherings brought press from all over the world to downtown L.A. with announcements from Microsoft (MSFT) about its Xbox One console, and Electronic Art's (EA) newest lineup of real-life game action including a much anticipated Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) game. However, none of that could match the fervor of perennial favorite Sony and its Playstation console, as the company seeks to enter new markets.

Also See: 8 Major Video Games Players Investors Should Watch During E3

Held in the Los Angeles Sports Arena, the gathering focused on both new releases, content and select new hardware. The show began with Andrew House, president and group CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment, announcing a version of the PlayStation 4 (the crowd exploded for this), coming with release of Activision's (ATVI) newest powerhouse title, Destiny.

Aside from a new, white version of the PS4, Sony made several other major announcements, including showing off its rival to Apple  (AAPL) TV, as the battle for the living room continues. Follow along to see the rest of the major announcements from Sony E3.

PlayStation TV

Sony introduced PlayStation TV, a companion device for PS4 to help take back the living room from the likes of Apple, Amazon (AMZN) and its Fire TV, Google (GOOG) and its Chromecast streaming device and others.

PlayStation TV will cost $99, the same price as Fire TV and Apple TV, and users will be able play PS4 games on another TV in their houses, provided users already have a PS4. The PlayStation TV was first released in Japan in November 2013 via the PS Vita TV brand to mixed success.



PlayStation Now

PlayStation Now is a revolutionary new feature that will feature the entire PlayStation catalog, starting with PS3 games to be played on the PS4 and Playstation Vita. Shawn Layden, president and CEO Sony Computer Entertainment, said that PlayStation Now will be used to "enable desire to share experiences."

The PlayStation Vita will have the largest gaming catalog of games on mobile device with PS Now. The streaming service, akin to Netflix (NFLX), is currently only "available as a beta application in select parts of the United States on select platforms." Rentals will be priced between $2.99 and $19.99, depending upon on the title.

The new streaming service is also coming to all Sony TVs. All consumers have to do is buy is a PlayStation DualShock controller, and the full capability of PlayStation comes to their new Sony TV.

Content, Content, Content

As the battle for eyeballs and dollars is waged, Sony has realized it needs the PS4 to be more than just a gaming system. It has taken a page out of Microsoft's playbook, bringing original content coming to PlayStation.

Also See: How Microsoft Is Taking Netflix Head On

The original series, known as Powers, is based on the comic book of the same name written by Brian Michael Bendis and artist Michael Avon Oeming. The series follows two homicide detectives, Christian Walker and Deena Pilgrim, who are assigned to cases dealing with people who have superhuman capabilities.

Aside from the rush to bring original content to the PS4, Sony announced it would be introducing Youtube to the PS4, allowing gamers to upload video captures directly to the service. This includes spectate sessions of all games, so it's clear that Sony sees this as an enormous opportunity to capture the video game player, whether they're being active or not. "Redefining what social gaming really means,"​ Layden said during the presentation.

New Titles 

Though much of Sony's major announcements were related to hardware and services, the big enthrall of E3 is new titles, and Sony did not disappoint on this front.

Grand Theft Auto V is finally coming to Playstation 4, Sony announced during the presentation. Players on PS3 and Xbox 360 can migrate their player data and share players with PS4.

Aside from this blockbuster announcement, Sony also announced two big new releases, Mortal Combat X and Batman: Arkham Knight, would be coming to PS4 in the coming months as well.

-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in San Francisco and Adam Leverone in Los Angeles


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