May 31, 2013 at 6:22 PM ET
Ever since Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One, the company has been mocked for (among other things) talking up everything about its game console except for the actual video games.
Maybe because it's an easy way for Sony to dodge its own embarrassing console war snafus like the recent #PS4NoDRM social media protest or the fact that it's only shown a few blurry images of its next-generation console, the company is certainly relishing Microsoft's inauspicious debut.
Speaking Thursday at the D: All Things Digital conference, Sony president and CEO Kazuo Hirai assured PlayStation fans — and made a not-so-subtle jab at his rival — when he said that the PS4 is "first and foremost a video game console."
Hirai went on to say that the "most important thing" for his company right now is to make its core group of gaming fans happy.
"We take a look at this first and foremost as a game console," Hirai said. "We don't want to end there. That's an area we will obviously reveal and talk about in the coming months."
While Sony has remained tight-lipped about the most controversial gaming features that the PlayStation 4 may offer, the company did manage to better satisfy its gamer fanbase than Microsoft did when it first unveiled the console in February. During the company's more than two hours on stage at New York City's Hammerstein ballroom, Sony trotted out prominent game developers, showing off blockbuster franchises like "Killzone" alongside the work of celebrated indie developers like Jonathan Blow.
Microsoft, on the other hand, focused almost entirely on the Xbox One's entertainment and multimedia features when it revealed the console May 21. And while the company paid lip service to its gaming content when it promised there would be more exclusive titles on the new console than ever before, it quickly landed itself in hot water after the announcement when game critics began to question the company's policy for supporting independent game developers.
Of course, Sony had something of the opposite problem at its PS4 announcement — saying almost nothing about the console's non-gaming features besides the occasional reference to Netflix and Hulu apps. But just as Microsoft has promised that its presence at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), starting June 10, will be all about video games, Hirai also implied that Sony will be detailing more about the PS4's additional services soon at E3.
In an interview with CNBC Friday, Sony CEO Hirai also hinted at other unannounced services coming to the PS4.
"I think that with any PlayStation platform launch — and certainly with PS4 — we want to make sure we have the best and compelling games that we bring to our consumers and fans through both our first-party studio products as well as from our third-party partners," Hirai said in the interview with CNBC.
"That obviously, in this generation of software and hardware, is going to include a lot of social aspects [and] a lot of network aspects as well," Hirai continued. "But I think we've been synonymous with bringing compelling gaming experiences to customers around the world and PS4 is no exception."
Yannick LeJacq is a contributing writer for NBC News who has also covered technology and games for Kill Screen, The Wall Street Journal and The Atlantic. You can follow him on Twitter at @YannickLeJacq and reach him by email at: email@example.com.