"Console transitions are hard to manage for companies like ours," says Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing. "But if you have to have a set of problems, I'd rather have those problems be that adoption is going faster than expected and (older) software is dropping faster than expected, because that points to the future."
While both the Xbox One and PS4 are selling well compared with their predecessors, Sony's console has pulled ahead. Microsoft, though, has slashed the price on the Xbox One this holiday season to $350, a $150 drop since the system's launch last November—and one that undercuts the PS4 by $50.
To further increase interest in the system, Microsoft is offering "Halo: The Master Chief Collection," a compilation of four "Halo" games, including versions of "Halo: Combat Evolved" and "Halo 2" with updated graphics and remastered interstitial cut scenes.
Read More Game on: Gamblers want part of rising e-sports
"Halo" isn't the only classic game getting a facelift for the next generation. Sony remastered 2013's "Tomb Raider" and "The Last of Us" earlier this year. And Take-Two Interactive Software will release an updated version of "Grand Theft Auto V" for both systems on Nov. 18.
Other titles to look for this holiday include Ubisoft's "Assassin's Creed: Unity" and "Far Cry 4," "Super Smash Bros. Wii U" from Nintendo and Electronic Arts' "Dragon Age Inquistion". And previously released games, like "Destiny," from the creators of "Halo," are also expected to be hot sellers.
Read More Microsoft's 'Halo' effect: Hunting for the next game hit
It's a rich lineup—and it's one that has publishing executives excited about the months to come.
"It looks very sound so far," says Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Take-Two Interactive. "So far everything is performing in line or better than expectations. I think the market is in a good place. ... I think the wind is at our back as an industry. We, and a couple key competitors, are positioned very, very well."