Microsoft Just Edges Sony in ABI Research’s Game Console Competitive
Assessment; Nintendo a Distant Third
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- October 18, 2013
Microsoft just edged Sony for the top position in ABI Research’s game console
Competitive Assessment, based on expectations for the impact of Sony’s PS4 and
Microsoft’s Xbox One game consoles. ABI Research evaluated a number of
companies across three device categories: game consoles, smart set-top boxes,
and TVs/Blu-ray players. Several factors were used to score each company based
on two main axes of Innovation and Implementation. The assessment provides
deep insight into consumer electronics ecosystems and modern video experiences
in the connected home.
Sony fell to second in the game console assessment in part because key
PlayStation 4 (PS4) differentiators like cloud gaming are still untested (and
won’t be fully available at launch), but largely because Microsoft has shown
more features on the broader entertainment front (e.g. hybrid premium/OTT
services). Nintendo secured the third position but a significant gap remains
between it and market leaders.
Senior analyst Michael Inouye commented, “With the hardware specs between
Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PS4 so similar this leaves Nintendo’s Wii U on
the outside. If not for Nintendo’s wider distribution network, console
heritage, and first party titles it would start to find itself in closer
competition with many of the new market entrants.”
Not since the fifth generation of consoles have there been so many competing
platforms, but unlike the past there is room for optimism. In this analysis
some new platforms scored fairly well due to relatively solid foundations –
e.g. Android or Valve’s Steam. Before these new entrants compete on equal
ground with the incumbents; however, the markets (mobile in particular) will
need to further develop and evolve.
Practice director Sam Rosen added, “As we look at the distribution of
companies in this analysis it might look as if we expect a bifurcation in
console gaming - a high end populated by two premium platforms and a larger
pool largely based on mobile ecosystems. While this might be true in the short
term we anticipate the market will come to look more cohesive than not as
technologies like cloud gaming place less emphasis on the hardware and more on
platforms and services.”
These findings are part of ABI Research’s First Screen Video Devices Research
ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of trends
in global connectivity and other emerging technologies. From offices in North
America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research’s worldwide team of experts advises
thousands of decision makers through 70+ research and advisory services. Est.
1990. For more information visit www.abiresearch.com, or call +1.516.624.2500.
Christine Gallen, 516-624-2542
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