July 29, 2013 at 11:57 AM ET
Microsoft revealed early Monday the prices for two of the key accessories for the upcoming next-generation Xbox One video game console — the standalone controller, which will cost $59.99, and an official Xbox-branded wireless headset to support the consoles various chat and voice features for an additional $24.99. Like most video game hardware, the starting bundle that Xbox One owners receive will include a single controller, and Microsoft has said that the new device will not be compatible with current-generation Xbox 360 controllers.
For a point of comparison, Sony's upcoming PlayStation 4 console — which at a starting price of $399.99 will debut for $100 less than the Xbox One — comes bundled with an earbud-style headset but will only offer its motion-controlled camera peripheral, the imaginatively named PlayStation Camera, for an extra $59.99. Unlike the Xbox One's Kinect hardware, the PlayStation Camera is not a mandatory feature for the PlayStation 4 console. Additional PS4 controllers also cost $59.99, and the console is not backwards compatible with older versions of the PlayStation DualShock controller.
Regardless of whether or not a headset is contained in the starting console package, however, that most serious gamers will likely look to make a heftier investment in a high-end gaming headset like those offered by Turtle Beach, Tritton, or Astro if they're actually planning to use either console's chat capabilities for actual gameplay purposes. According to a report from the video game site Polygon, Sony has confirmed that the PlayStation 4 will be compatible with the same headgear that currently befits the PlayStation 3. Microsoft, meanwhile, has been vague on whether or not gamers will be able to use their current headsets, which can run upwards of $200 for the best models, on the next-gen hardware.
This story was updated at 3:20 pm ET.
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: Yannick.LeJacq@nbcuni.com.