This console generation has lingered far beyond its expected lifespan with the Xbox 360 in particular hitting a 7-year milestone later this year. A lot of gamers—including myself—have found safe haven in PC hardware where technology isn't hindered by the birth of each generation, so it's no surprise when EA CEO John Riccitiello shared that PC gaming is growing more than any other platform.
While speaking to CNBC Riccitiello stated the following:
The fastest growing platform for video games today is the PC, but it's growing through subscription, through microtransactions, through downloads.
Not all of the reason behind this trend lie behind horsepower, either. A lot of it has to do with the distinct content delivery models of consoles and PC. There's a dramatic shift in how games are delivered and PC gaming is spearheading the evolution. Dota 2, one of the most anticipated games of 2012, is free-to-play with a microtransaction model that has already proved profitable during beta. Last year, Team Fortress 2, one of PC's most popular games, made the transition to free-to-play and quickly made valuable profits from its in-game store.
Equally as important is the way games are delivered. Virtually every game on PC can be purchased, downloaded, and installed within minutes and managed through easy-to-use content libraries such as Steam and Origin. As we've seen with recent PlayStation Store updates, Sony is migrating to digital, but is taking a while to get its wheels spinning. It's really only a matter of time before every platform offers the option, but PC already has the system figured out.
A good reason behind new consoles taking so long to release is how carefully Microsoft and Sony need to plan their course of action to avoid being beaten by PC for even longer. Given how successful these new trends have been, rest assured we'll see them impact the design of future consoles, so don't be surprised.