Do PC games work on anything other than Windows? No, except for some of them. What about the mobile market? The iOS, Android and Windows Phone 7 each has it's own exclusive games. So no, it's not limited to the console market.
Standard APIs for many high-level languages are supported across Windows/Mac OS/Linux.
And the APIs that are OS-specific are a very small area of the code.
Games were mostly released for Windows, because Windows had an overwhelming market share (over 95%).
With Mac OS's share increasing, you see more and more games being released for Windows/Mac and also Linux.
Compared to that, the APIs for consoles were drastically more different when I worked with them.
The mobile market is converging toward a more streamlined development interface (many use the same OS and support web apps).
I'm not too worried about the future of the mobile market, but I'm pretty certain that 10-20 years from now, the console market will still be a fragmented mess.
I'd rather have more competition, to be honest. I still dream about the day Sega makes it's triumphant return to the hardware market.
PC manufacturers are consumer beneficial competition.
Console market would be consumer beneficial competition if you bought your console based on the hardware.
Instead, the console manufacturers slice the available games into console exclusive sub-sets.
You think that if it was a genuine consumer beneficial competition, people would buy several consoles that do the same thing just to play all the games they want to play?
You're not being realistic here. Consoles have been sold at a loss since the PS1 era. The fact is that new hardware is expensive, especially in the first years of production. Why is cutting-edge hardware necessary? Because you need to convince adopters of the last generation to upgrade and buy the new consoles, and in order to achieve that the processing power needs to be a great step away from the previous generation.
Companies sell generic computers (PCs, Macs) at a profit and people buy them.
The mobile market is a bit less healthy (they push the phones through plans), but tablets are sold at a profit and people buy them.
Consoles can't be sold at a profit, because what they offer is inferior: a machine that only does a subset of what other machines (PCs, Macs, even tablets) can do and whose main selling point are the exclusive games they acquired.
"But <Insert console here> offers a cool peripheral!"
Yes and they could have made that peripheral for a more generic computing machine at a fraction of the price.
The core of what they are selling is still crap.
If you don't invest in cutting-edge technology you take the risk of stagnating in the market. Isn't this the biggest complaint about the Wii?
I actually have a bit more respect for the wii than for other consoles (and they actually sold the wiis at a profit which is the healthier model for an hardware manufacturer), because they innovated, but like I said above, they could have released what made the wii as a peripheral for a more generic computing machine.
And there's no way to sell an expensive console. History has already proven that expensive consoles do not sell (the 3DO, the CDI, the Saturn and the terrible launch of the PS3 are examples of that).
Exactly. People go "why would I buy that crap when I could buy an actual computer for a comparable price?".
It probably is the future, but since i can't predict stuff i'm talking about the present.
Yes, well, a lot of the messes we are in now is because people don't have a vision about the future.
The present is an infinitely small time slice that will soon be the past.
The future is an infinity of upcoming presents.
Worrying about the future pays off.