Gamers in US snap up new PS4 con­sole

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - WORLD -

ROCKVILLE, Mary­land: Casey Karch queued overnight in or­der to get his hands on one of the first PlayS­ta­tion 4 game con­soles re­leased in the US yes­ter­day.

Karch, a Wash­ing­ton res­i­dent, was num­ber 21 in the queue of those hav­ing pre­ordered the first 100 of the new Sony con­soles de­liv­ered to GameStop, a re­tailer in Rockville, Mary­land.

“There is a first-day magic about it,” Karch said. “It’s al­ways great to be one of the first.”

“I’m go­ing to go home and play (the new edi­tion of the game) Kil­l­zone and then sleep a few hours,” he said.

Sony is count­ing on fans like Karch to help win over gamers in its bat­tle with Mi­crosoft, set to re­lease its up­dated Xbox One con­sole next week.

Some buy­ers in Rockville are loyal PlayS­ta­tion gamers, con­cerned that the con­sole may sell out dur­ing the busy hol­i­day shop­ping sea­son.

“I’ve had the PS1, the PS2 and the PS3,” said Bethesda, Mary­land res­i­dent Jesse Rosario, who was num­ber 31 on the list and had pur­chased a new Call of Duty game and a bas­ket­ball game for the PS4.

“I grew up with it, so I love the ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Asked why he or­dered for the first day, Rosario said, “It’s the PlayS­ta­tion 4, it’s go­ing to sell out.”

Oth­ers chose PlayS­ta­tion over Xbox amid con­cern about an al­ways-on in­ter­net con­nec­tion and cam­era, al­though Mi­crosoft has re­as­sured buy­ers they would not be mon­i­tored.

“I don’t want a cam­era on me. I’m not into that,” said Wash­ing­ton res­i­dent Chris Jones, one of the PS4 buy­ers.

With a small child at home, Jones said he would only play games loaded from a disc, not online. “Not ev­ery­one is friendly online,” he said.

The suc­ces­sor to

the PlayS­ta­tion 3 made its de­but in North Amer­ica and will hit Europe later in the month.

It comes amid in­tense com­pe­ti­tion among con­sole mak­ers and with gamers also turn­ing to smart­phones, tablets, free-toplay, so­cial and online games.

The PS4 is be­ing re­leased seven years af­ter its pre­de­ces­sor and a week ahead of the re­lease of a new- gen­er­a­tion Xbox One. The PS4 is priced at $399 (R4 050), while Xbox One will have a $499 price.

“With the PS4, we wanted to make a high- per­for­mance ma­chine at a low price to put one in ev­ery liv­ing room across the world,” Sony Com­puter En­ter­tain­ment Amer­ica vice pres­i­dent Adam Boyes said.

Along with build­ing more pow­er­ful com­put­ing en­gines into con­soles for cin­e­matic graph­ics, engi­neers built in so­cial fea­tures and took lessons from smart­phone and tablet games mak­ing in­roads.

A fore­cast by the re­search firm Gart­ner shows game con­sole sales are likely to grow to $44 bil­lion (R440bn) world­wide this year from $37bn last year, helped in part by the new con­soles. – Sapa-AFP

PIC­TURE: REUTERS

IT’S MINE! Joey Chiu, 24, holds up his Sony PlayS­ta­tion 4 con­sole, next to Jack Tret­ton (right), pres­i­dent of Sony Com­puter En­ter­tain­ment of Amer­ica.

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