The launch of Sony's PlayStation 4 console is less than one month away, and Microsoft's Xbox One will follow close behind. As video game fanboys continue to argue over the merits of each console and Microsoft desperately tries to re-educate casual gamers after their initial blunders, a new analyst report has assessed the competitive merits of each next-generation console.
Market research firm ABI Research has released a new report, part of which details its competitive assessment of the next-gen console race. The assessment rated each console on a number of factors, including "innovation" and "implementation." Contrary to the zeitgeist of current gamers, the firm puts Microsoft's Xbox One at the top of the competitive heap.
ABI stated that the Xbox One got the top ranking due to Microsoft's demonstration that the console can function on "the broader entertainment front." The Xbox One's TV capabilities were heavily touted when the console was announced, and though Microsoft has been mocked for its broad focus, ABI believes the console might actually appeal to those outside the gaming hobby.
Sony's PlayStation 4 came in a close second in the evaluation. ABI bumped it down the list in part because one of its most promising features, Gaikai streaming, will not roll out until next year.
Nintendo's Wii U was relegated to third place in ABI's assessment. Nintendo has been struggling to sell the console since its debut last fall.
“With the hardware specs between Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PS4 so similar this leaves Nintendo’s Wii U on the outside," said Michael Inouye, senior analyst at ABI. "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.”