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PlayStation 4 launches on November 15, Vita gets price cut

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PS4 and PS Vita (Credit: Sony)

Want a PlayStation 4? Get ready to take a Friday off this November.

Sony has announced that its next-generation system will go on sale November 15 in North America and in Europe on November 29 -- and it's going to have a lot of retail support.

While the exact number of games available on Day One wasn't revealed, the company announced 15 new PS4 exclusives at its annual press conference at the Gamescom event in Cologne, Germany. Over 30 games will be available during the console's "launch window," which Sony defines as the time between the system's launch day and the end of 2013.

Sony shared updated information on several previous announced games, including infamous: Second Son and Killzone: Shadowfall, but gamers seemed more excited about the announcement of a re-imagined Shadow of the Beast, the 1989 side-scroller originally published for the Commodore Amiga. The company also announced a slew of independent games that coming to the PS4, including the sequel to Hotline Miami, breakout PC hit Rogue Legacy, and Thomas Was Alone creator Mike Bithell's new game, Volume.

[Related: Sony takes aim at Microsoft with PlayStation 4 pricing, policies]

As announced at E3, the PS4 will cost $399, a full $100 cheaper than Microsoft's Xbox One, which will launch later this year. Earlier Tuesday, Microsoft announced an extensive lineup of launch games for the Xbox One, but stopped short of giving a launch date.

To boost the system's appeal, Sony also announced that The Playroom, a gamified introduction to the system's new controller, would come pre-installed on every PS4.

To better compete in the handheld market, the company announced plans to drop the price of the PlayStation Vita handheld system by $50. Effective Wednesday, the system will cost $199. Sony also said it would reduce the price of Vita memory cards, something that has been a bone of contention for fans of the system.

"PlayStation Vita's new price makes it an even more compelling value for gamers looking for the ultimate in portable gaming," said Guy Longworth, senior VP of brand marketing at SCEA. "With a strong holiday lineup, including the first PS Vita games from critically acclaimed developers Guerrilla Games and Media Molecule, plus integration with the highly anticipated PlayStation 4, now is the perfect time to become a PlayStation Vita owner."

And just as with the PS4, Sony plans to give strong support to indie game developers on the Vita, announcing that indie hits like Polytron’s Fez will be coming to the system. Big games aren't bypassing the system, either. Among those on the way is a port of 2K's Borderlands 2.

Sony further confirmed yesterday's news that a 12 GB version of its PS3 console will be available for $199. The long-awaited racing game Gran Turismo 6 will launch for the system on December 6th.

Sony's PS4 came out of E3 in June as the console to watch this holiday season, attacking Microsoft's unpopular policies and aligning itself with independent developers, which earned it a lot of love amongst hardcore gamers. The Xbox One has fought hard to level the playing field since then, though, reversing course on several unpopular decisions and showing a willingness to listen to consumer feedback.

Of course, Sony couldn't resist the opportunity to take a swipe at the many changes its rival has made.

"We set out to build the most powerful platform with a deeply held consistent focus on you, the gamer," said Andrew House, president and group CEO Sony computer Entertainment Europe. "While others have shifted their message and changed their story, we were consistent in maintaining policies and a model that is fair and in tune with consumer desires."

However, both companies still have some work ahead of them. Sony has yet to reveal the full PS4 Day One launch lineup, and Microsoft needs to give gamers a final launch date for the Xbox One itself. The war’s definitely heating up.

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