Nintendo launched its Wii U game console in November and Sony announced its PlayStation 4 console in February for a launch by the end of 2013, setting the stage for the next-generation console war. That makes Microsoft the only of the three console hardware makers that has not officially announced or launched a next-gen game console.
Despite this lack of information, a well-known industry analyst is already predicting Microsoft"s entry will be the winner in the next-gen console war. VG247.com reports that Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities made that rather bold statement at a panel this weekend at a South by Southwest panel in Austin, Texas.
Pachter said he believes that Microsoft will win because of two unannounced features that he believes will be the next console: a TV tuner and support for Skype. Pachter says they will be "killer apps" for the next Xbox. Sony"s PlayStation 4 will still do well in the marketplace, according to Pachter, thanks to the console"s content and its Gaikai cloud gaming service support.
Nintendo might have a bit of a problem in the next-gen console fight. While Pachter believes the company"s games will be solid, he said its hardware "will be challenged." He also said Nintendo"s dominance of the handheld gaming market will be hurt by the popularity of gaming on smartphones and tablets.
And what about the PC as a gaming platform? Pachter believes that the PC "as a gaming device will make a comeback." That might be good news to Microsoft, as PC makers try to sell more products with Windows 8.