Games sell consoles...well yeah, but every console has games, every console has great games, and every console has a large number of games accross a wide variety of genres. Games sell consoles, but games don't determine the winner of the generation.
Specs? No, this looks like it will be the first generation where the most powerful console will win the sales race. Has being the most powerful, while well priced and cheaper than Xb one at launch helped? Yes, but only by building hype.
Price? If that was the case then Wii U would be winning like Wii did.
Average meta score? Doubtful, I believe PS3 had the best of the meta-wars last gen and for most of the generation it was commonly thought of as the worst selling console. In any case the generation leader normally has a larger share of crappy shovelware which brings down the meta.
Innovations? CD and DVD were apparently reasons why PS1 and 2 were so dominant. Wii motion was the reason Wii was so dominant, early on at least. But did they actually make those consoles better for actual gaming? Or did this innovations just help build the hype?
3rd party support? Wii says hi. It got 3rd party support, sure, but did it get better 3rd party support than the rest? Xbog got good 3rd party support and it didn't help that much. Good 3rd party support is necessary, but it's not the reason a console wins themselves race.
Nonggaming features? Nah, some would argue that Xbox has had the best non-game feature set both last gen and this gen. Xbox benefited but it hasn't won because of it.
Brand loyalty? I think we're getting closer. Nintendo was dominant when gaming was still a relatively niche teenage boy thing, it commands loyalty from those who were around in those days and that loyalty is inherited down the generations. But it was not apparent market. Sony created it's base of loyal support when console gaming exploded into the mainstream, but was still an activity primarily undertaken by people who adopted gaming as a significant part of their entertainment life. With Wii Nintendo appears to have failed to expand the number of committed gamers who automatically prefer Nintendo. xbox came to the party too late to create a loyal fanbase of any significant size, because Sony had already grabbed most of the mainstream audience who are inclined to develop a strong preference. But the loyal fanbase does not win your generation. Sony might have the biggest loyal fanbase, but that didn't help it win last gen. It did help it not fail, but that's all.
First to market? Nope, didn't work for 360 hasn't worked for Wii U.
Seems to me that whatever objective measure you look at both individually and collectively they don't add up to "will clearly win the next generation" unless perhaps therewith perfect storm of all of these factors lining up.
No, it is always the hype factor that is the major difference. If Wii U had managed to create major hype then PS4 and Xb one would be crying themselves to sleep every night. But it failed to create hype, which left the door open to one of the others. As we know MS shot itself in the foot so it's hype train got derailed before even leaving the station.
That pretty much meant Sony's hype challenge was extremely easy, and it achieved all the hype it needed with just 3 words: three ninety nine. The price itself is immaterial. The fact it was unexpected, and it was a pleasant surprise which no one saw coming is the big thing. Sure Sony capitalised on the DRM disaster, but that should have equally played in Nintendo's favour, aside from the fact that Nintendo had basically lists it's mojo at that point so there was no hype to build on. Which meant sony had the field all to itself to build more hype around something that every console gamer in history has been able to do: sell, share or give away their disc games. That was no feature or innovation, it was just a basis for generating hype.
ps4 is selling so much better than the others because of hype. Yes absolutely. But that is just the normal way of things. PS4 is not different in this regard. Every generation winner wins because of hype.
Disclaimer: please forgive any word oddities in this post. I made this thread on my phone and auto-correct doesn't always correctly guess what my fat thumbs are trying to type.
“The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.” - Bertrand Russell
"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace."