You used correctly the term "value". It's the overall value proposition that determines how much a customer is willing to pay for a product and hardware specs are just a part of it.
Software is a key driver of value proposition and Sony showed they can offer both established popular series and new IPs from renowned studios that won't be avaliable anywere else. MS on the other hand has yet to demonstrate they can offer a comparable output of exclusive content both in terms of quantity and variety. That's why at the current status Sony's proposition has an advantage despite comparable specs.
Looking at past examples, if specs were the only key driver of value, Nintendo would have left the business a decade ago.
Customers dont always want to spend more just because a brand is pushing more features. Its like if these console makers added a coffee machine into the consoles, sure it adds value but the console will now be $699. Does that mean customers are okay with paying more? I wouldn't think so either. They will opt for the cheaper model hence why cheaper sells more.
All console brands have well established IPs that are proven. To say one company offers it while the others dont, is looking at the scenario blindly. Any IP can be turned around into a hit if the right talent is behind it.
I also wouldnt be underestimating Xbox Studios. They brought and aquired some good talented devs and even formed acouple internally. Masterpieces dont happen over night, infact Sony didnt really hit hard with good 1st party games until the PS3 era in my opinion.
I agree with you at least on two points.
Yes, customers are not willing to spend more for just any additional feature. And the "coffee machine" example is actually on point, because I think it explains the difference between and PS3 situation and currrent situation. With the PS3 Sony acually tried to put a sort of "coffee machine" into the console; the main reason why the PS3 was so expensive was the BD player, an extra feature that no one asked for and didn't actually add anything to the gaming experience (despite Sony at the time tried to tell otherwise). This time Sony could ask for a premium but becasue they have an advantage in terms of software output capability (imo), something that players do care about.
I also agree with the last statement, it takes time to create masterpieces and Sony started to build its first party reputation mainly in the PS3 era. That's also the practical reason why MS will still be at disadvantage in terms of software for some time. Their recently bought studios may very well have "masterpieces" in the oven but it will take time for those games to hit the market and it will take even more time for them to build a reputation comparable to Sony's first party. It's not to diminish Xbox Studios but so far they have only 3 exclusive long running quality series (Halo, Gears Of War, Forza) other games have been hit and miss so far.
Last edited by freebs2 - on 13 June 2020