Sony’s PlayStation vs. Microsoft’s Xbox

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Both promise their next generation of game consoles will take consumers well beyond video games to let them surf the Web, send e-mail, download music and movies, store digital pictures and even, possibly, record TV shows a la TiVo.

Xbox

What's at stake: Microsoft wants the Xbox to be the linchpin in its digital-home strategy, and since Xbox is its most successful foray into consumer electronics, needs to prove Xbox wasn't a fluke to keep credibility of industry.

How many this generation has sold: 19.1 million

Next Up: Xbox 360, code-named Xenon

Debuts: End of 2005

Agency: McCann Erickson

PlayStation

What's at stake: The PlayStation brand is Sony's last bastion of cool, and as such it needs to keep momentum going on the PS3 that PlayStation Portable is delivering to keep its leadership position.

How many this generation has sold: 81.4 million

Next Up: PlayStation 3

Debuts: Early 2006

Agency: TBWA/Chiat/Day

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