Re: My counter prediction
"Yes, PC hardware is more expensive (Due to subsidies on consoles), but over the life of the product will end up cheaper due to the lower cost of games, and not having to shell out a monthly fee to play online. With an expected generation life of 10 years, to play online for that period would cost you about £400 with XBOne for example. Factor that in and suddenly the TCO of a Steam box is way, way lower."
Most of the current-gen consoles AREN'T subsidized. They're actually selling at a small but actual profit because of some vertical integration, bulk deals, and the fact that PC hardware is a lot more commoditized than before. Those hard drives are a bit small compared to the multi-TB jobbers out now, the GPUs aren't exactly cutting-edge. About the only thing close to being subsidized is the AMD CPU, but I suspect some things missing or undercut may explain the lowball. Then there's the matter of brand loyalty and internal development projects. Sony and Microsoft won't be letting their signature enterprises go anytime soon.
As for paying for online, consider the "ten cents" scenario. Sometimes, people just won't see a value in something UNLESS they're paying for it. To them, free stuff is f-d up stuff and they wouldn't touch it with a 39 1/2' pole. As for cheaper prices, that only applies to games that have been out for some time. Steam games are rarely that way at initial release, plus there are those who don't want to waste their download allowances and would sooner give up gaming than give up DISCs. That's something both Microsoft and Sony learned quickly, which is why their consoles STILL have optical drives (IN SPITE of intentions to do otherwise).