The PS4's attractive price point allowed Sony to squelch their rival at E3 2013, but according to numerous sources, this was only possible due to a last-minute decision not to include the PlayStation Camera as a mandatory pack-in.
IGN's tipsters claim that the decision was made 'in the months leading up to E3,' allowing Sony to knock $100 off the original $499 RRP that would have put it in line with the Xbox One. Apparently this move was taken in utmost secrecy to avoid Microsoft catching wind from any retail partners, leaving the Redmond giant in the unenviable decision of defending their premium price against a cheaper and more technically accomplished machine (on paper, anyway).
It's likely that Sony originally intended the PlayStation 4 camera to be an essential part of the ecosystem, at least when you look at the anecdotal evidence. DualShock 4 controllers sport a built-in LED beacon, while the PS4 reveal waxed lyrical about its potential.
Most gamers (ourselves included) have applauded Sony for the lower price and optional £44 peripheral, but it's worth noting that the poor old PlayStation 4 Camera (which isn't officially called PlayStation Eye, by the way) has been left up the proverbial creek by the move. Since the vast majority of PS4 owners won't have one, developers will have little incentive to use it in all but niche titles and throwaway gimmicks, while the DualShock 4's motion control beacon will be all but useless. Kinect, on the other hand, will be able to better evolve over the course of the console cycle, with studios confident that 100% of the install base will have access to it.
But hey, £349. It's probably a fair trade.