Yes Goddamn wowzers! Microsoft via Xbox Live is changing the game to steal a line from John Heilman and Mark Halperin about their book on the 2008 US presidential race.
Hardware has always been the realm of single, 30 something losers bragging about their PC gaming "rig." I would add in PS3 users, but well I don't have the time nor do I give a damn about responding to all of their complaints.
The old view is "the most powerful console = best console." Basically, the thinking of those who created the PS3.
Microsoft with Xbox Live is changing it from a "I wannabe be on the junior varsity PC blowhard team" into the whoever has the best console operating system wins the game. By concentrating on contracts with Hulu, ESPN, HBO, and others, Microsoft with Xbox Live can not only compete in video games, but also with television providers such as Comcast.
Throw in a few $4.99 monthly fees here and there for specific services and you have a full blown television provider brought to you via Microsoft "input here"box. What was once viewed as a lowly video game console for the kids will now be viewed as a great family investment in tough economic times.
Sony with a free PSN and Nintendo with their whatever the hell you call them windows on the Wii don't have a clue or finger on the impulsue of US consumers. Microsoft does and I would bet good money Microsoft with Xbox Live can compete with them for years to come regardless of their "specs" as the 30 something, single "I have a $3000 gaming rig, but cry myself to sleep" players care so much about.
As for PC gaming, the day Microsoft with Xbox Live guarantees Activision-Blizzard (with Titan) and other MMORPG creators that Xbox Live will transfer and continue accounts regardless of what "input here" box the consumer has, PC gaming will cease to exist as a credible gaming platform. This will lead to a video gaming world dominated by tablet PCs, smart phone gaming, and video game consoles as all-in-one television and gaming providers.
We have already seen the Xbox 360 capture the bulk of the FPS market. The only desirable market left is the MMORPG market.
So the only desirable markets are FPS's and MMORPG's? You sure are an Xbot.