Let’s look back to 2005 and 2006. Sony’s Playstation 2 was the clear leader of that console generation. The original XBox had a healthy market but they didn’t end up with near the penetration of the Playstation 2. Sony comes out at E3 in 2006 and announces a console that will cost a minimum of $499 and there was a $599 version as well. The gaming world was taken aback. Sony had overstepped their reach and would pay for it. Gamers jumped to the new Xbox 360 and the 360 would maintain the dominant market share versus Sony until today.
Now Microsoft has announced the Xbox One and you will be hard pressed to find a lot of good press on it. Between the price tag ($499) the always on connectivity (face it, a camera and mic you cannot turn off is creepy), and the stance on used games they have set themselves up to trail Sony by this time next year. The PS4 is cheaper ($399), it doesn’t operate like some creepy Big Brother, and you can play used games. Sony is also welcoming the Indie developers with open arms by allowing them to sell directly without a publisher attached.
This is one of those years where publishers are going to have to gamble on their investments because no matter how it looks now, we don’t know who is going to lead in market share. If I were sitting in the greenlight meetings I would make it simple. Core Games lead on PS4, casual and children’s games lead on the 360 (not the One). With Microsoft’s market share right now there will be a lot of consoles being handed down to the younger brothers, sisters, cousins etc. EA, Activison, and Take Two can all afford to launch games for both of the new consoles, but for the smaller publishing houses I would be making sure I have a PS4 Development Kit ASAP.