But since I just bought a new PC that should play games pretty decently (specs to come, once it arrives), I thought I'd go on the side of the PC for this post. Usually people point to consoles as the medium to dispatch PCs. I've been thinking about the math of this today compared to the current generation of consoles.
| ||Xbox 360||PS 3||PC|
|Typical Cost of Machine||$350||$400||<$900|
|Cost of New Titles||$60||$60||$50|
|Online Gaming Cost||$50||$0||$0|
|Cost of GPU upgrade (for consoles, next one) ||$400||$400||$100-$400|
|Significant Rate of Failure||Yes||No||No|
|Expansion Packs Possible||No||No||Yes|
|Forces Ads On You||Yes||No||No|
|Downloadable NEW Games||No||No||Yes|
|Additional dev hardware required||Yes||Yes||No|
|Cost of dev hardware on top of PC||$Thousands||$Thousands||$0|
|Free dev tools available||No||No||Yes|
|Requires royalty for publication||Yes||Yes||No|
|Can distribute online, on your own||No||No||Yes|
|Choice of APIs||No||No||Yes|
Based on this chart, it makes much more financial sense for developers to keep working on PC than to all move to console. Yes, consoles tend to move a lot of product, but which of the above gives you higher margins? Developers who are on a shoestring budget can develop on the PC.
And on the consumer side, in some situations it makes financial sense. You might pay an extra $400 dollars to get a PC that can play games relatively well, which is about the cost of the console -- especially if you consider the cost of Xbox Live and the extra $10 tacked onto every game.
Now on the topic of Flash games. The people who predict that Flash is the next "big platform" have a few hurdles to overcome. Like, for example, who would pay $50 for a single Flash game title, like they would for Call of Duty 4 or Half-Life 2? Second thing is that Flash can only do a fraction of what a Win32/DirectX title can do.... so Adobe better be hard at work on a 3D API if they really want to enter that space.
The major trick they'd have to pull off is finding people who would pay for Flash games. I already know the answer to this -- Flash games are great for advertised supported gaming, right? Well, how much of the games space can be supported by advertising? If we sell no games, and all games are supported by advertising, would we have enough people to spend money on advertising to make it fly? ( Right now, half of the advertising on gaming websites is for paid games). Are we expecting all entertainment to be paid for advertising commodities (oil, food, electricity) in the future? Lots of questions that need to be answered to make that fly.
But the bottom line is PC gaming is probably safe. If it was in danger, the entire PC platform would need to be in danger. Given how much prices are dropping on PCs, it's probably not a risk to consumers or developers anytime soon.