When you say "didn't compete" and "expect them to compete", what are you referring to? All of the runners in a track race are "in competition" with one another regardless of which place they finish in. It doesn't matter how far distantly the last runner finished from the first. The Wii U was in competition with the PS4 and the XBox One for the majority of its lifespan no matter how the sales ended up between them. When I bought Assassin's Creed IV, Call of Duty Ghosts, or Watchdogs on Wii U, I was taking purchases away from its competitors. It doesn't matter that the Wii U versions accounted to very few sales of these titles. They were still in competition nonetheless.
By compete, I mean one system having a significant impact on the sales of another, which I'm pretty sure is also what laser meant as well.