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Microsoft has been a big winner for stock traders over the past year, delivering gains of nearly 60%. But Sony hasn't been far behind and the two companies are preparing to go head-to-head again in the gaming sphere as Sony releases its PlayStation 5 and Microsoft debuts Xbox Series X.

What's happening: A poll from research firm Civic Science shows U.S. consumers favor the Xbox, with 57% of respondents saying they are more excited for the latest Microsoft offering than its Sony rival. The same result holds true across gender and racial lines.

  • Consumers who say they play video games daily say they are more excited about the new PlayStation (44% to 25%).
  • CivicScience's survey was taken in January among more than 1,600 Americans age 13 and up.

Reality check: No matter which console consumers prefer, Microsoft and Sony can both win. In May, they announced a strategic partnership to co-develop game-streaming technology and host some of PlayStation’s online services on Microsoft's Azure cloud platform.

The bottom line: If these new consoles create enough hype and can deliver returns in the $38 billion video game console market, 2020 could be an even bigger year for Microsoft and Sony.

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Updated 25 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 33,495,373 — Total deaths: 1,004,314 — Total recoveries: 23,259,632Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m ET: 7,186,527 — Total deaths: 205,895 — Total recoveries: 2,809,674 — Total tests: 103,155,189Map.
  3. Health: Americans won't take Trump's word on the vaccine, Axios-Ipsos poll finds.
  4. States: NYC's coronavirus positivity rate spikes to highest since June.
  5. Sports: Tennessee Titans close facility amid NFL's first coronavirus outbreak.
  6. World: U.K. beats previous record for new coronavirus cases.
  7. Work: United States of burnout — Asian American unemployment spikes amid pandemic

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Joe Biden speaking in Wilmington, Delaware, on Sept. 27. Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

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