is this a personal "how can next gen succeed" or a overall?
If overall, MS just has to do like they do in all their sectors. Make people believe they are either the only ones doing X,Y,Z or They are the ones doing it best.
Sony needs to Milk EVERY franchise created from Psone to the 3. After this gen no more experimenting. Start hitting peoples nostalgia buttons. Make an Infamous 4 Than reboot it. Reboot the Resistance franchise, Make a Killzone 5 than reboot it. Make a Last of Us 2 with different character etc etc.
The impulse buyer will buy whatever is being considered hot and fresh at the time. The ones that buy off of friends preference will likely migrate towards whatever their friends are playing or playing at. The devoted ones will typically buy what they know.
In order for MS to succeed next gen to me. They need to make multiplayer free, better hardware, less phishing scams, less hacked lobbies in games, Start to explore new Ips on a 1st party front and stop leaving it to indies, decent ram to go with the cpu, actual HD and not upscaled sub HD games, App support without the requirements of live, A windows 8 Like interface with a micro kernal to relieve ram consumption.
In order for Sony to succeed for me. They need to have a cpu that mocks the competition and upgrade the cell. That way they can do their own thing and let the 3rd party devs have parity on their platforms. add video chat to ps4 and vita. Not skype but actual os vid chat that enables the vita to be a controller using the camera on the vita to emulate through the ps4. They can even make a special controller with the camera on it to connect through usb for people who don't care for the vita/ps4 use.
Convince 3rd parties for exclusive versions of games. That way they don't have to sit at the standard of competitors for an entire generation like this gen. Utilize cloud streaming, make 1st party titles like sly,medieval,ratchet, etc at 20-40 bucks. And other games that are Eye candy like UC, Last of us, gow 50-60. Start making digital titles cheaper faster after retail release. Make digital ps2 games compatible on vita even if you have to stream it through a personal cloud service on everyones console.
As for Nintendos current console. Don't make me wait 3 years till you start releasing Wii U quality games. Don't Vaporware me anymore. Mario and your other 1st party games will no longer entice me. Pull something new out of thin air something that isn't E for everyone. You have enough of thoses. Zombie U is a good start but do some more. I don't care what your 3rd party multi plats are anymore because even if its a weaker version visually if the competition is handling my 1st party thirst I don't care how the multi plats performs this isn't ps2 snes era anymore.