The PlayStation 4 will outsell the Xbox One at release this holiday due to a "variety of factors" but most directly its price point, according to a new report from the International Data Corporation (IDC) released this week.
Sony has previously said that "price isn't everything" and that the lowest-priced console isn't always the most successful.
For its part, Microsoft Xbox director Albert Penello said last month that the Xbox One is worth $100 more than the PS4. "I just believe that we're going to have a better system," he said at the time.
The IDC report also concludes that the number of game consoles shipped worldwide in 2013 will be "marginally higher" than 2012's 33 million, bringing to a halt a four-year slide that started in 2009.
The research group also predicted that prepaid full-game, micro-game, and add-on revenue generated through Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, and eShop will exceed that of worldwide PC-based digital sales of the same nature for the first time ever this year.
The IDC also pointed out that while subscription-based PC game revenue is currently declining, connected console subscription revenue (Xbox Live Gold, PlayStation Plus) is up so far in 2013.
IDC gaming research manager Lewis Ward said the online console game market is expected to exceed 165 million people worldwide by 2017. Details about how many people would be playing offline were not provided.
"As a result, the opportunity to sell these gamers digital assets through Wii U, Xbox One, and PS4 online storefronts will grow substantially in the next several years," Ward said.
The Chinese government's recent decision to lift its 13-year console ban "should" lead to millions of additional hardware sales for Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony within the next three years, Ward said.
Lastly, Ward said emerging platforms like Ouya, Valve's new Steam Machines, smart TVs, and other microconsoles are "unlikely" to have a material impact on the traditional console business, at least for a few more years.
"It appears unlikely that Nintendo, Microsoft, or Sony will be driven out of the living room from a gaming perspective by 2017 as result of non-console competition from the likes of Valve/Steam, Ouya, cable/telecom companies, or related hardware and Web service providers," Ward said.