To explain what I mean, it seems like purchasing a console these days is a big roll of the dice. You get your console, you wait for the games to roll in... you're good. But, what you if got the loser? The console that had the games and features you initially wanted, but after a while, you find yourself doing more arguing on behalf of your chosen platform online than playing games. Uh oh, you're THAT guy now. Where did it go wrong?
Overall, it seems like the console market tends to get extremely volatile. What once was a sure thing last gen ends up sucking pond scum the next, and it creates a tug of war between the development communites on these platforms. Consoles aren't a zero sum game all the time, but there is takeaway, and the effects of the sway in the market can be felt. If you didn't have plans to purchase multiple consoles, you may have to due to the bottom falling out from the system you purchased due to oversights by the platform maker.
With all three current console makers not wanting to lose their place in the industry, they're constantly looking for ways to usurp each other. That's the whole game plan. Sometimes it fails, sometimes it's a perfect storm of the cards falling into place that can make a gaming system a runaway hit. It leaves kind of a chaos in that industry. No one can get comfortable with a single purchase. When I look at PC, it doesn't have that unsurety and unease of a violent market turnaround. Looking at some scenarios this gen...
- PS4 is the market leader by far this time. But, if the Scorpio is priced right, and the Switch ends up being monster hit, then that's an attack on Sony from two opposite angles. Scorpio could be the preferred platform for multis for those with the cash, and the Switch could end up soaking up a lot of Japanese support that PS4 was supposed to see. Sony will have the strength of its first party titles, but would that be good enough to hold the others at bay up until the next platform? PC owners could see themselves being less concerned with buying the platform since they'll see some of the library on PSNow should they want to subscribe.
- Nintendo could have a HUGE hit with the Switch if things are going the way they say, but with major third parties being caught off guard by its massive success, will it get significant content? If third parties find themselves trying to hastily stuff games on the platform trying to ride the wave, they could see their titles being ignored again in favor of the first party offerings. Great development takes time. It could see itself being a horrible port and shovelware haven.
- Microsoft could see themselves reclaiming gamers that jumped off the bandwagon with Scorpio for that group of gamers that wants to have the most powerful console. But, the same issues that plague Xbox now will still be there. Xbox first party games will still be sold day and date with PC, and will they be able to establish enough of an identity again by scoring some great exclusive content? Xbox was seen as a sure thing by gamers who thought MS would throw money around securing deals toward the platform and keep the content flowing in. Well, those deals are a LOT tougher to make when you lose major ground in the industry.
I just see with PC, there's none of that instability and worry that comes from the unpredictability of going all in on a console. PC will see indies, original titles, Xbox games, third party games, PSNow, emulation etc. The only real issue being sprucing up on your hardware and the occasional bad port.