Nov is kind of a big deal for gamers: Microsoft’ s Xbox One will debut Nov 22 while Sony’ s PlayStation 4 is scheduled to launch on Nov 15. Both launches come before Black Friday. So far, PS4 is trending better on social media: In the last 3 weeks of Oct, 1.7mln people tweeted about PS4 versus 1.1mln for Xbox1, according to startup LeadSift, which tracks social media activities for sales lead generation. Approx 3% of the conversations on Twitter about the two were negative, and Xbox One had twice the negative mentions as the PS4. At $399.99, the PS4 also has a pricing edge over Microsoft’s $499.99 console, though Sony’s box doesn’t include the PlayStation camera that sells separately for $59.99. Xbox1 comes with Kinect 2.0, a fully-featured depth sensing camera that also works as an IR blaster for set-top boxes. Both consoles support 4K features, and sport Blu-ray drives, 802.11n WiFi and 500GB hard drives.

Entertainment capabilities might be what really set the 2 apart: Microsoft has focused on features such as direct access to live TV using voice commands and access to multiple on-screen programs, making the device an attractive option for gamers with cable service. But while Sony has reportedly looked to ink deals with Viacom, Disney and other cable nets to bring their channels onto PS4, its console’s main focus remains the more than 1bln global gamers ( Cfax8/19). The different focus colors the companies’ advertising campaigns, with Microsoft marketing the device as a mass-market product for any living room while Sony’s ads focus on hardcore gamers. That doesn’t mean Sony will give up the non-gamer or casual gamer market: The new PlayStation app offers 2nd-screen capabilities across mobile devices and tablets, and Sony’s own PlayStation Vita lets gamers extend PS4 titles to a 2nd gaming screen via WiFi. It’s the 1st time since ’06 that Sony and Microsoft have released gaming consoles. We’ll see how the battle plays out starting Fri with the debut of PS4.

Xbox could chug along as the favorite for families seeking a more versatile home entertainment choices and better motion-controlled gaming, according to the Verizon FiOS Gaming Index, which surveyed more than 500 gaming and gadget lovers. Most gamers (58%) prefer to play games in the cloud and not worry about storage on their console, and nearly 2/3 of consumers have high interest in watching streaming video on a gaming console, the survey said. Microsoft and Sony will be both happy to hear that approx 34% hardcore gamers would be willing to sacrifice a car for 6 months in order to be one of the first to get the new Xbox One or PS4.

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