The new PlayStation 4 may look similar to Microsoft’s new Xbox One console, but Sony has put a clear line in the sand between its rival after announcing that the PS4 will cost $399 — $100 cheaper than Microsoft’s Xbox One — while there will be no restrictions on used games, and the console will not require an Internet connection.

Speaking at E3, the company is playing for an initial price advantage over its console gaming rival by setting the PS4 at $399, that’s $100 cheaper than the Xbox. However, importantly, there is no confirmed release date; the Xbox One will arrive this November with a price of $499, initially going on sale in 21 markets, costing €499 in Europe and £429 in the UK.

Sony has also confirmed two other important facts about the PS4, that will not impose restrictions on used games while users will not need to check in online in order to play. That’s the opposite to Microsoft which recently confirmed that Xbox One gamers must connect to the Internet one-time per 24 hours to continue playing — an issue that has raised eyebrows among gamers — while there will also be restrictions around using older titles.

Sony, on the other hand, will allow PS3 titles to be played on a PS4. That will be of interest to both older-generation PlayStation fans and new PlayStation owners who could take advantage of the backwards compatibility to play older titles in addition to the new content that the Japanese firm has planned.

These three factors are merely advantages at this stage, and they do not mean that Sony will beat Microsoft in the next round of console gaming. There are plenty of other factors to consider, Halo remains an Xbox title which is likely to be a big factor for many consumers, while Sony’s past issues — including the leaking of millions of gamer records — will not be forgotten by many.

There’s plenty more to come, advertising campaigns, content, and further factors to sway users one way or the other; but both Microsoft and Sony are aiming to ensure the health of console gaming…and for that us consolists should be grateful for, regardless of our specific choice either way. (For the record, I remain undecided on PS4 or Xbox One at this point).

Headline image via Sony