I actually took a hiatus on both the new xbox and ps4 this time around. I still use and enjoy my ps3, Xbox and Wii. I decided to to a water cooled 6700k build instead, I'm glad I did has I have had a great time with the many mods the communities create and it brings new life to games. I'm excited that they are working on and releasing new models. Over the years I hear that the slow cycle of the consoles slow down the release of new features and improvements in graphic fidelity. When I think back at the older cycles from the console manufactures I can believe that this maybe true. If VR takes of this would could leave out the consoles out and I can see why they want to release a new ps4 and possibly the same for the Xbox. As for ms and sony releasing on faster cycles I could see this being a negative as many people I believe would be upset about it. But as with any thing in computers, cars and even to appliances they are constantly outdated. I'm still holding off on my htc vive purchase as do not have an issue waiting to see developers will start producing good titles for it. This is one of my several reasons as well I that I'm holding off on new console purchases.
They need the faster cycle to realize more console profits sooner. The only question will be is how fast the old one becomes obsolete? Games for PS3 and X box 360 were made up until recently. So how many active gaming platforms will each company have?
It'll be fun to watch from a financial standpoint.
From a Pc gamer standpoint. I really don't think it'll have much of an impact because consoles are generations away from even being close to a Pc in power. The console world will never be able to do the cross platform game that was attempted with Arkham Knight. It'll just be a repeat of that travesty.
I believe the new potential model could push a lot of console players to PC. When I think about the reasons a console player has for not switching over generally it's something along the lines of "my friends play on console" or "PC is too expensive". Well, with this new model gamers would effectively be spending more money in shorter amounts of time to have the newest console hardware, which in theory would eliminate a reason for them to avoid PC. When more switch over it will cause a domino effect.
I think that we are about to see 2 very different strategies come to market with this.
Sony is an appliance company at heart. They like to release a product to market, milk it for a while, and then replace it. The idea of having a product and maintaining it with security updates, patches, adding features year after year for a whole console generation is not what they got into the console market for, and something that was never an issue until the PS3 (which they did a terrible job at) and the PS4 (where they learned from their mistakes). However, if they can release a new console every 3 years it will allow them to go back to their appliance roots; push out a product, patch it for a few years, and then push people to the next thing. I think that the fact it uses PC hardware is just what has to be done to keep developers in house, and that they will leave it for something else (like ARM) if they ever think that they can.
Microsoft on the other hand is actively bridging the PC and Console markets. Share a single core OS, a single store front, and a single CPU technology (x86) across both devices. Want a desktop UI and the ability to run non-store apps? Well then go buy a PC from one of their 'fine retail partners'. But if you want a respectable entry level computer that is essentially for gaming and media consumption, then I think they will be able to push out a new product every couple of years going forward.
The difference here being that when on the Sony side we will likely see fewer hardware releases, but when the PS5 comes out the PS4 will be quickly put on the development back burner. While on the Microsoft side, it is 'just another PC' and one of many PCs that players will be able to take advantage of. The OS will be able to be kept up to date for security and features, and the games will probably run better on older hardware for a longer amount of time.
That said, I have no idea who will be putting out the better products, or who will 'win the console war' that is fast approaching. Just from watching the history of things I think we will see Sony putting out products and sunsetting them, while MS will have products that evolve much more throughout their lifetime.
Personally, I'll continue building my own rigs every few years and use it for work and play.
Oh, and then there is Nintendo... Pretty sure they are going to release something similar to the nVidia Shield (the tablet one). No dobut it will be interesting, but no dobut people won't care enough to buy into their hardware anymore. The only interesting thing about Nintendo is that with recent changes to their corporate structure it sounds like they are also preparing to release a platform agnostic store front (think Steam or Google Play Store) that will run on other people's hardware. I may never buy another Nintendo console... but if they let me legally run their games on my PC or phone then you bet I will throw some nostalgia money their direction. Heck, I have quite a library of Roms, they may as well tap into the market of people like me and make some money off of it. I'll be more than happy to 'go legit' if they find an acceptable way to do it just as I have done with my music, movie, and other game collections.
Could be a good move. Though hardware standards for consoles will increase more frequently, I doubt it would affect PC gaming much. It will be the same as it has always been. You can get a card and wait until it reaches the point at which it can't deliver the performance you need, or you can upgrade at your leisure. Maybe the need for more frequent hardware updates to consoles means people will bring the cost closer to that of PC gaming and cause people to switch over. I would welcome this since PC can once again be the cash cow and actually have games developed specifically for PC instead of being the incredibly gullible afterthought that predictably buys up poorly-made ports.