Microsoft bought their way into the console world with a $500 million marketing budget (!!) and the purchase of Bungie so they could have a killer app for their system. Halo is of course now establishment, but imo I've seen Microsoft themselves really do nothing innovative since they have been in the console market. In fact, I feel they've done quite the opposite with many horrible missteps and decisions. I certainly know that Sony isn't without fault, I suppose no company is, but Microsoft's consoles have always smacked of mediocrity and lack of artistry or passion.
Sony isn't much better. Say what you will about Nintendo, but I find it damning that over the past 20 years, there has been little innovation on controller design since the original Dual Shock for PS1. Set all four controllers side by side, and there's very little difference. PS3 added accelerometers and PS4 added a touchpad, but besides that they are pretty much equivalent.
Don't get me wrong though, the Dual Shock is an excellent controller with a good Dpad unlike Xbox or Game Cube. Paired with a USB adapter, the Dual Shock 2 is my favorite controller for use with PC emulators.
Now look at Nintendo for instance. They have done nothing but innovate, and got a lot of flack for it. N64 shipped stock with an analog stick, despite it's issues. Sony added dual analogs to the redesigned PS1 controller, but many early games don't take advantage of it.
Nintendo set the trend for motion gaming with Wii. Sony added accelerators to the PS3 Dual Shock at the last minute. After the runaway success of the Wii, Sony tried to copy it with Move and Microsoft with Kinect.
Nintendo started with a touch screen in the DS, a good couple years before Apple released the iPhone and iPod touch.
Both the DS/Wii were runaway hits which left the century old Kyoto firm with a nice cash flow. The Wii-U kind of combined the DS with console / tablet gaming, and I love the Gamepad despite the poor public reception. But it did seem like for once Nintendo was trying to capitalize on the tablet phenomenon, copying a trend rather than creating it.
Point being that Nintendo has been the only company over the past umteen years to innovate. Dpad NES, diamond SNES (which Sony all but stole), analog N64, motion control Wii, tablet Wii-U...
But casual gamers have left console market for good with smart phones and tablets. This market segment is gone and not likely to return. But between Sony's 20 year old controller design and Microsoft's and Sony's arms race, there really isn't much to their consoles. Xbone and PS4 are both budget PCs with closed source.
NX will likely run on ARM architecture meaning easy ports for mobile and indie developers, but alienate the third party AAA publishers. No surprise there. And with the very likely possibility of downloads only for all three companies during the 9th generation, it will spell the end of the resale market. Gamestop will likely need to diversify and go through a restucture and corporate downsizing.
Either way, a downloads only future doesn't bode well for later generations of retro gaming...