Xbox One, PlayStation 4: What will cost you extra


Marc Whitten, corporate vice president of Xbox Live, speaks about the technology behind Microsoft's Xbox One during a media event in Redmond, Wash., May 21, 2013. (Nick Adams/Reuters)

Microsoft and Sony are continuing to duke it out to win over the hearts and minds of gamers ahead of the holiday launches of the next generation Xbox and PlayStation.

In an update to its information on the forthcoming Xbox One, Microsoft confirmed that features such as the ability to record and share videos of your own gameplay, as well the capability to make Skype calls will require an Xbox Live Gold subscription — a program that costs at least $60 per year. Gold members will also get access to a guide that offers custom suggestions for things gamers may want to watch on television as well as a snapshot of what's trending on the Xbox Live community. They’ll also get access to Microsoft’s “SmartMatch” system, which pairs players for online multiplayer matches by comparing their skill level, language and gaming reputation on the network.

Coincidentally — or perhaps not, given Sony’s previous savvy responses to Xbox announcements — Sony executive Shuhei Yoshida took to Twitter Thursday to reassure gamers that game recording and streaming will be open to all PlayStation 4 users, not only to those who subscribe to a premium service.

Sony doesn’t offer everything for free, however: The company has said that gamers will have to subscribe to its $49.99 per year PlayStation Plus service in order to access online multiplayer for most games.

In other Xbox news, Microsoft Director of Programming for Xbox Live Larry Hryb, better known by his “Major Nelson” gamertag, took the wrapping off the Xbox One with an unboxing video that showed that the Xbox One Day One edition will come with a headset in the box. The company had previously indicated it would need to be bought separately.

The console, as expected, also comes with the Kinect sensor — which is likely the reason that the Xbox One has a suggested retail price of $499, $100 higher than Sony’s.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.

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