Microsoft has just beat Sony by topping the list in the game console Competitive Assessment carried out by research firm ABI Research, based on anticipations for the influence of Sony's PS4 and Microsoft's Xbox One.
According to the research firm, Microsoft's Xbox One incorporates more features on the broader entertainment front, while Sony fell to second mainly as its PlayStation 4 (PS4) differentiators including cloud gaming still remain untested and would not be offered at launch.
Nintendo, however, remained at third position while there is a significant gap between it and market leaders, the research firm added.
ABI Research senior analyst Michael Inouye said with the hardware specs between Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's PS4 so similar it 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," Inouye said.
During the analysis, some new platforms made fairly well due to comparatively solid foundations, including Android or Valve's Steam OS.
However, the research firm suggests the mobile markets in particular, have to further develop and evolve sooner than the new entrants vie on equal ground with the incumbents.
ABI Research practise director Sam Rosen said the distribution of companies in the analysis may look as if a bifurcation is anticipated 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," Rosen said.