Assuming we could talk about the other major market forces that will help make or break Ouya and OnLive....


Xbox One vs PS4

Both firms choose what amount to mid grade living room PCs that are somewhat hobbled in that they have locked down software and are down on storage. Both are at the mid range graphics card level and i3 level of compute power.

The boxes aren't that portable and have limited storage and so both firms will have to move processing to the cloud to keep up with everything anywhere anytime. The firms have agreed upon almost identical architectures that prioritize developer ease of development and cost and they will agree on a PC cloud model of distribution. Disk based software will phase out, the best stuff will be cloud native, but in the meantime the industry doesn't really care where someone got the code just that all players get a fair cut every time someone gets access to code. This means any premium will really be for new titles and people can pass around disks as much as they want.

MS focused on I/O. MS made hardware choices relative to Sony that may help it with noise, heat, size, weight and reliability. These same choices help it with being able to fit the cost of the Kinect and the tuner elements into the package. Its down by a third relative to PS4 on GPU and it may have to ramp up quicker in moving processing power to the cloud. It's made very conservative style choices. If you look at Xbox One its basically a black Wii. To see this expand the Wii dimensions a bit and spin the bevel and disk access to the side of the unit. Add some Apple white in the Logo cues.

Sony focused on power. Sony made choices that will give it some marketing leverage early on. This leverage is in line with its marketing strategy on PS3 but it should be noted that Sony has had trouble converting a hardware power advantage into market-share gains. This time the power comparison will be more transparent, but in consoles the lowest common denominator tends to control. Also Steam and PC will be more powerful on local processing and being open. Having a third more GPU power may help early on but the advantage of the more expensive memory set up may not have much of a power advantage even if its slightly simplifies coding. Its looking like MS got Kinect right this time. That will mean that Sony will likely have to improve the PS Eye and bundle it with every new system. Which could put it at a cost disadvantage.

This race comes down to software and services as both firms choose total commodity architectures and system on a chip designs. It's likely that both systems have adequate power for their applications and the focus will be on I/O and moving processing to the cloud.

It looking like both firms got the controllers right. It also looking like Sony got the styling right (fuzzing pictures) though their machine, while also being black looks like its bigger and can accept both vertical and horizontal orientation where Xbox One may only accept horizontal orientation. Early success is likely to come down to how good the Kinect 2 is and how good a job MS did with living room integration. Integration of the Illumiroom, Occulus rift and a killer server side cloud mmorph may determine success later one. Also who can bundle absolutely everything (content, services even hardware) for one price and who is better at protecting privacy and not interrupting with useless ads.

Sony may spin off its entertainment division. That would be bad for MS because while the new company would at least initially be less able to generate cash it would likely be more nimble.